Award-winning sculptor, potter and 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India, Cynthia Siegel exhibits her work internationally, receiving awards at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale. Ms. Siegel has presented lectures and workshops in India, Israel, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the U.S. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA is from San Jose State University. Ms. Siegel teaches at Cabrillo College and Foothill College.
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I began my work in clay with the expression of my delight in beauty, and in the pleasure of making beautiful objects for everyday use. Soon after an informal five-month apprenticeship in Jerusalem, I lived and worked for seven years as a full-time studio potter in Eastern Sierra of California. In the making of my pottery, I sought to blend the cultural and natural worlds, inspired by both the rugged local landscapes surrounding my home, and my travel experiences in Asia. In particular, traveling through the temples of South India sparked an evolution of my work. I began to focus on the expressive possibilities of the figure, exploring how the inner workings of thought, imagination, and longing manifest externally on the figurative form.
With my sculpture and pottery, I consider the beauty that comes from the passage of time, and I seek to create work that celebrates the human connection to the natural world. I carve a diverse range of imagery into the surfaces of my work, from the roughly ridged textures of a tree trunk to the classic swirling of a flowing garment. This imagery is fueled by a love of storytelling, anthropology, anatomical structure, and natural history. I look to elicit a slight startle, perhaps a smile, and then a feeling of recognition and of empathy. Looking back through my creative trajectory, and gazing forward, the link throughout is rooted in my desire to connect, empower and include.
Clay figures in process at Cynthia Siegel's studio