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Melissa Dronet

Mixed Media / Lafayette, LA

Artist Statement

My clay is rolled out on a slab roller. Numerous cutting and carving tools are used. After the final fire. I assemble the clay piece on backing board. Size of the piece is decided at this stage. Background glass mosaics are glued, piece is grouted. I cut and assemble all of my wood frames with a miter and table saw. I have a cache of old wood from my father.
Before obtaining Cajun Spice Art Gallery, most of my creative nature went into designing t-shirts. What a difference a little gallery made in 3 years.

Biography

I was born in Kaplan, La. Being a full fledged Cajun influences most of my work. At a very young age I drew, painted, but it was during my years at USL, that I began to find artistic directions that encompass my work today. I enrolled in a Continuing Ed pottery class, thus developing my love of clay. Mosaics came along as a result of my training in design, and before long a natural involvement of clay and mosaics happened.
Working with clay is such a grounding, soothing therapy for me. While I am quite adept at the wheel, my preference is rolling clay slabs. Carving leather hard clay, sometimes cutting into large patterned pieces, bisque firing, underglazing, glazing for a second firing, and yes finally opening the kiln door to the finished pieces, While most of my work results are as I imagine them to be, there are some pleasant surprises. I took many painting courses while at USL, where what you see is what you get. I so prefer the unknown of kiln firing. Even the unexpected brings knowledge.
Motivation for my work is all around me. What a glorious paradise south Louisiana provides. My subject matter consists primarily of our Cajun iconography. Why create igloos when we live in such a diverse cultural community, our birds, seafood, music, architecture, etc.