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Maccabee Shelley

Maccabee Shelley

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This week I spoke with artist Maccabee Shelley who is a 31 year old Ceramics Post Bachelor. His exhibit featured pieces that he crated from melted glass and ceramic. They were all very interesting and so I sat down to delve deeper into the inspiration behind them. I learned that Maccabee chose glass because he was inspired by the material itself. He’s marveled by how it makes itself ambiguous. It can be sharp or smooth ,clear or opaque and it is very abundant so he could get his hands on a lot of it at a time. He described glass as “magical” with its oxymora descriptions and since he already did ceramics, glass wasn’t much different. I asked how long a project usually takes and he said  most of the work is in sorting the glass and they take 3-4 days in the kiln but all the projects that were on display he made over the summer. Now, Maccabee didn’t set out to be an artist, his mom was a teacher and they lived a pretty “normal life”. But since his friend’s dad was and artist he was exposed to that lifestyle and was drawn towards it. When he realized he was passing all his art classes and not his academic ones, he knew it was time for a change. However, it would be a while before he actually started making art. He told me that he used to be a book binder in San Francisco and didn’t really commit to being an artist until about 2010!! I asked if the pieces turned out he wanted and he said, generally, yes. Like most artists he started with an idea and while in the process of creation he lets the material decide what it wants to do. The bases, though, did turn out how he wanted. One of them looked like silly putty but it was actually ceramic! That was part of his plan, Maccbbee told me, to take away what you already knew about a material and change how you look at it. One word to describe his art, I asked, “fragile…no wait! fragility, yeah…fragility”

Artist Tag: maccabeeshelley.com

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