Kent Child and Kathleen Sheridan are husband and wife artists who share a love of making beautiful things. In their 120 year old home in rural San Benito County, they explore the discoveries they make in their individual studios; Kent as a potter/sculptor and Kathleen as an oil painter and illustrator.
I strive to create ceramics that blend aesthetic design considerations with useful functionality. I love it when my pots are used for everyday activities such as dining and drinking. I hope the user is pleased with the visual and tactile elements of shape, form, color and texture as they live with the pottery.
I am drawn to make wood fired ceramic art for many reasons. There is magic and mystery in the process. Much of the outcome is beyond any precise control. This process is rich with superstition, mysticism, spiritualism and folklore spanning many centuries of artistic human endeavor. I draw much energy from this heritage. I strive to make pots that pay homage to the rich Asian traditions, while also reflecting contemporary cultural aesthetics. All ceramics use intense heat to complete the process. Burning wood as the fuel is about as direct, physical and real as one can get to the goal of "being one with the pot". The visually rich and somewhat accidental effects of glazes formed by the interaction of wood ash, clay and kiln atmosphere are part of the dance between potter, clay and kiln.
There are two things I would like you to know when viewing my paintings. First there is a brief story for each of them. I love living in a small rural community where we bear witness to each other’s lives. There is a sense of connectivity to people, places and events that is very important to me. It’s nothing very earth shattering, no big ideas or theories, just small moments when time stands still.
Second I want you to see what I see. I often stumble upon these moments, which then catch me in their embrace of strong value contrasts and intense color. I also choose them for the sheer physical pleasure I know I will have in trying to recreate them in paint. In the same way that someone reaches out to pet a cat or smell a rose, I am compelled to paint that shape or color. I would like to ask you to look at the paintings for a long moment, to get past the idea that they are “realistically” rendered, in order to see a wash of alizarin crimson in the shadows or a thin fluid line of thalo blue. That’s my idea of a good time.
Painting is the least intellectualized thing I do. I don’t have any big ideas to develop. I don’t experience creative surprises in the studio. My paintings simply represent the things I find meaningful in my life and are just a physical manifestation of the many small ways I feel connected to my time on earth. Somewhere I read the question “Who would want to devote their life to small ideas?” I guess I do.