Grace Sheese’s work looks like someone reached into a cartoon world and pulled a chunk into our reality. Her pieces are painting first, and pots second. She creates slightly amorphous functional forms, blurring the iconography of a “cup” that often overpowers concept and imagery. They nearly read as sculptures with comic narratives drawn on them, but the function eventually comes clear into focus. To achieve her curious surfaces, Sheese uses techniques like ceramic decals, inlay, and scraffito, and incorporates other elements including wire and beads.
The function is another layer – an opportunity to connect with the mysterious textures and imagery. And a way to feel close, even be taken by, the weird cartoon world that the chunk of clay was stolen from.
Sheese explain’s her mission, “Each piece I make tells a story. They are small stories about the every day, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes wistful. The story unfolds across the inside, outside, and even the underside of each piece. Moving the story across the pots is my invitation for you to explore and to imagine the story. I make my work to be touched, held and used every day but also to be worthy of notice, of being considered, and being reconsidered.”
Sheese was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the U.S. at age 8. She has had an up and down love affair with pottery over the past 15 years, which was recently invigorated by receiving herMasters of Fine Arts Illinois State University. She currently lives and works in Bloomington, IL.