2019 Homestead Magazine

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Personal Style: Valerie Seaberg

Valerie Seaberg

Valerie Seaberg

I’m a materials-driven artist; pine needles, horsehair, clay, metal, beads and bone—each of them offers unique properties that inform and shape my artwork.

I started out weaving traditional baskets out of pine needles and wanted to combine the weaving with clay and other indigenous materials. I came across some horsehair at the Mountain Man Rendezvous and was smitten. Horsehair is so sinuous and strong. I like that it has a long history of use in this area. Utilizing it has allowed my sculptures to become more sensual and alive.

Art-making has been a source of incredible joy. I am amazed at my good fortune to be doing the work of an artist. I love that my job entails spending whole days by the river weaving or hunkered down next to a smoking pit fire. I am grateful for the way this work surprises and informs me, and always leads me to points as yet unknown.

www.valerieseaberg.com

 

Tools

Tools
For a bunch of years, all the tools I had were in that jar; stuff from the kitchen drawer; an X-Acto knife; and my favorite, a giant African porcupine quill. Michael Sherrill at the Art Association encouraged me to create my own tools, so I do that, too.

Vessel

Vessel
This black, pit-fired vessel sits in the center of a hornet’s nest with the paper peeled away to reveal the comb. I fuse the paper onto a ceramic waveform before weaving it up. The celadon piece is twice-fired and glazed, and I’m coiling the rim with horsehair from the bound “tails.”

Heart-and-Hand Rattles

Heart-and-Hand Rattles
To have, to hold and to give away … I make zillions of these. They’re pinch pots, made one-half at a time, filled with little river rocks or metal beads, and then “welded” and fired. They’re impressed with antique lace, fossils, tree bark or leaves, little wooden stamps or grasses. I get notes from all over the world from people who have them. I carry their stories with me.

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