Cheryl Ann Thomas

Posed elegantly on plinths, the furled and sometimes collapsing ceramic “artifacts” and “relics,” as sculptor Cheryl Ann Thomas calls them, seem very distantly related to their ancestral forebear, the coiled clay pot. Indeed, the swaths of charcoal gray and creamy coiled clay resemble more a crushed brim of a straw hat or ribbons of snake skin than anything porcelain at all. These sculptures do not function as vessels, but rather seek and explore the edge of what hand-wrought clay can achieve, often reaching mind-boggling heights and stunning delicate balances. The monochrome palette draws attention to the delicate texture of the surfaces and to the repetitive print of the artist’s fingers. Thomas begins each work with long thin rolled ropes of clay coiled and coiled to build forms, and then often uses several forms in one work. She has just begun to investigate making similar works in stainless steel and bronze, which seems an appropriate direction for these noble ruins (Frank Lloyd Gallery, Bergamot Station).

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