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Art & Life with Ilaria Rossini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ilaria Rossini.

Ilaria, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up as a creative child in an artistic household, every season of my life has been marked by some sort of creative pursuit. I was around seven years old the first time I was bitten by the ceramics bug when I took a kid’s class at a nearby studio. It was only a few weeks, but it stuck with me as something I felt I needed to try again someday. Besides ceramics, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to try nearly everything else I’ve had interest in: painting, baking, sewing, dance, music, cosmetology, jewelry making, knitting, photography, and many more. After high school, I completed a degree in cosmetology arts and sciences, and the next year started ceramics classes at my local community college while working a couple of days a week as a hairstylist. In those classes, I discovered a passion for ceramics that I could never have dreamed of. As I dove in, I found out how well I was suited for it and how many different things I absolutely love about creating in this medium!

Now, three years later, I can’t imagine my life without it and I would never want to. There is always so much more to learn and explore; it’s endless and I can’t get enough of it! I’m just starting out in my business, and I truly hope I can continue to grow as a potter for the rest of my life so I can share the pieces I create and hopefully also the joy I receive through creating.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I create many different types of pottery from functional kitchenware to decorative pots and jewelry, and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite! I truly enjoy taking raw natural material from the earth and changing it into something useful and beautiful. I love the feeling of clay in my hands and the idea that it can become almost anything I want to create as long as I have the persistence. I particularly love that ceramic art is as much a technical and scientific medium as it is a visual and tactile one. Both aspects are needed to make a good piece, and I enjoy the challenge of combining the two in everything I make. I take a lot of inspiration from nature in the colors and textures I use in my work. I particularly enjoy leaving parts of the clay body unglazed on a few designs to show the natural material and provide a contrast to the polished look and feel of the glaze.

Some artists think that in order to evoke emotions, art should be disruptive and shocking. While I believe that has its place, I believe the opposite is valuable as well. I think art should also help people feel things like happy or calm. When anyone uses or looks at things I’ve made, I hope they are uplifted by them in some way. I’d love for my mugs to make someone feel comfortable and cozy when they have their coffee, or for my vases to help someone take a second out of their day to remember to look closer at things in their lives, not rush by them. If I can use a talent God has given me to enrich or improve someone else’s life, that would be the best I could hope for.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge is the culture of immediacy and disposability. People are so used to having lower quality but immediately accessible goods and artwork that they’re less likely to commission a piece that would take some time to hand craft or seek out an artist to support because they could go out and buy something mass-produced and have it home before dinner. Fortunately, I think we’re starting to see a rise in the popularity of unique and handcrafted things in some communities again. It’s my hope that as artists have greater exposure via social media and events like art markets, more people will continue to see the value in supporting an artist and owning something individually crafted, and that soon it won’t be unusual to prefer something handmade to something store-bought.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Personally, I don’t think world events have much influence on the art I create. My work comes from a more personal place of what I find joy and challenge in creating, and things people around me enjoy. However, I do believe artists have always had a unique opportunity to influence culture and connect with people, whether what they create is linked to what’s going on around them or is a respite from it. This is the first time in history so many artists have access to a platform like the internet to share their work – it’s an exciting time for artists of every kind. I wouldn’t say the role of artists today has changed, but I would say what they bring to society is something our world needs more of.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
For anyone who would like to follow my art on social media or get in contact, I have an Instagram (iarceramics)as well as a Facebook page in the works where I post some of my pieces and will give details about any upcoming art shows and events where I will be showing and selling. If anyone would like to support my work, they could follow me on social media and like, comment, share, tell their friends, come to my shows, and if they would like to support me by purchasing some of my art I would be so grateful!

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