Nancy Kramer Bovee
Overland Park, Kansas
Artist Statement 2019
My work is born of ideas that are translated to clay, through a process of pencil to paper drawn images. Drawings that are then cut out like a dress makers pattern and then transferred to hand rolled slabs of clay. With sharp blades I slice through to reveal an inner line and boarders. My fingers push up and under to subtly shape the landscape of the tile. A skin of color is applied with colored terra sigillata. Sometimes a shimmer of clear glaze to highlight or gold lusters as required. But beneath all color and shine is that base of deeply red rich and earthy terra cotta clay born of the sensual feel of shaping clay with my hands.
I make both wall pieces and free standing sculptures. My images come from memories of the natural world. A vision of color deeply and intensely remembered. Tiles that are nested together to form a pattern or design. Tiles are lifted off the wall with wooden armature to allow an added element of light and shadow play. Patterns from close observation of form in time in meditative silence. Part idealized, part imagined and part observed. Free standing sculptures of animals with human eyes that hint at the soul within. A vision of color remembered. A snap shot of shifting time as leaves grow, fish swim, animals creep about and birds flitter past.
My tongue is silent my eyes observe my fingers create.
Nancy Kramer Bovee is a visual artist who works primarily in clay. She makes wall tile installations and free standing sculptures of richly textured hand rolled slabs of terra cotta clay. Exuberant colors adorn the varied surfaces, patterns and textures. Mandalas of introspection and observations of the natural world, be it plants or animals with elements of human soul. She received her B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute in December of 1980 with Ken Ferguson as instructor and mentor. Leaving Kansas City she moved to Montana and set up a studio in the mountains outside of Helena. She developed as a studio potter making functional pottery of terra cotta clay. She used white majolica glaze and embellished it with a vivid color palate of bright gestural motif. In 1989 Nancy moved back to the Midwest and began making handmade tiles. Overtime these tiles morphed into sculpted wall installations and the free standing sculptures that she continues to make today. She currently lives in Santa Fe New Mexico and continues to explore her love of terra cotta clay.