Paula Diaz-Sylvester

 

Paula Stoneware

For as long as she can remember, Paula has been fascinated by color, texture and geometry, and how these elements can be integrated into an art product. She explored a number of disciplines, including modern quilting, hyperbolic crocheting, modular origami, photography and digital design until she fell in love with ceramics.

The sources of inspiration for Paula’s work are multiple and include Celtic knots and keys, traditional Islamic tile design, Japanese geometric patterns, Native American pottery, modern tessellations and optical illusions, textile print design, basketry, modern architecture and contemporary stained glass design.

Paula has dedicated a significant amount of time to learn the principles behind the golden ratio, Fibonacci’s series, sacred geometry and the regular division of the plane. She enjoys combining the soft, organic imperfection of a handmade shape with the hard and elaborate structure of the geometric designs decorating the piece.

Paula was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After completing a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, she immigrated to the US to pursue a career as a biomedical researcher. She finds an attraction in applying science to the development of an art product. Indeed, Paula takes advantage of her background in math and geometry to successfully translate patterns from 2D sketches to 3D curved shapes. She continues to devote her time to both science and art.

She believes that to accomplish her work, the technical approach is just as important as the inspiration. She uses a potter’s wheel to create basic vessels, which are then decorated using pinstripe masking tape to “draw” an intricate pattern composed by a variable number of shapes or “sections”. In many cases, there are several hundred sections in a piece! Once the design is laid out, three coats of glaze are individually applied to every single section of the pattern.

The concept is similar to the use of painter’s tape on a wall but in a smaller scale. Paula is not the first one to use masking tape to decorate pottery but she is the only one who has taken this technique to such an extreme degree of complexity. Glazing a single piece takes an average of 20 hours of intense and focused work. Times vary depending on the design, size of piece, glaze density, and other factors.

Paula has displayed her pieces in a number of exhibitions and festivals and has received the City Wide Artist Award in ceramics (On My Own Time Exhibit, Springfield Area Art Council, 2013) and the Giffin Student Award (Shapes of Influence Juried Ceramics Exhibition, Springfield Art Association, 2014). One of her pieces was selected by the American Clay Company, AMACO, to be displayed in an advertisement featured in Ceramics Monthly (2015).

View Paula’s Portfolio of Past Work


Current Work for Sale: