Artist Vivian Saich’s passion is throwing, handbuilding, and carving porcelain to create a body of work in flowing, organic shapes.
I remember the feeling when I was very young, of making pretty things with my hands and imagination. People’s faces would light up, smiling as they gazed at something I had made. That felt right and good. I missed that feeling for most of my life, wondering if I still had it. If I tried to create art, would people still respond to it the same way?
Like a lot of other creative souls, I have spent most of my life working hard at another career path to survive and pay the bills. Unfortunately, too many people are in survival mode while deep down inside they know they need to do more than just survive. They want to love their work and feel good about themselves. I loved going to art festivals, meeting the artists and talking about their process. At the same time, I wondered how they survived.
In the past, this would stir up strong emotions in me that made me regret not working at it myself. I’d think “I could make that” and yet I wasn’t I making anything, just plodding away at my 9 to 5 sales job. Was it too late for me to become an artist? Had I lost my creative mojo joy?
I moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2000. It took me until 2012 to muster up the courage to slowly make my way into Asheville’s great River Arts District. Once I began taking classes, I found I could not stay away from this wonderful community of artists. The River Arts District is where I am meant to be.
It’s this place and community that inspire me to work towards realizing my dream. There are great workshops and classes that have helped me rediscover my creative self. Now I have the courage and understanding that it’s never too late, and that I am not alone in my artistic journey at this stage of my life.
I rent a small art studio at the Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts where I can also attend workshops at Odyssey Clay Works. I make and sell my work through the Odyssey’s Co-op Gallery. I am so happy here and love being a part of the positive, creative energy that flows through Asheville and the River Arts District.
Honestly, this community gave me courage to take a leap of faith towards living my dream of becoming an artist, having my own studio and selling my work in art galleries.
I love working with porcelain, making handbuilt and wheel-thrown forms. I sometimes alter forms when they are plastic enough, then carve and pierce into the clay at the medium leather-hard stage to decorate the surface with lines, curves and texture. After bisque firing, I apply glaze to the insides, and wipe clean the drip glaze off the outside of the pieces. This leaves a naked white porcelain finish which I then fire to cone 7.
The naked porcelain is beautiful. I love allowing the blue-green glazes inside to shine through the negative spaces. At this time I am making orchid pots, carved and pierced porcelain bowls, boxes and other art forms.
Link to Carolyn’s original article here.back