About

Bonnie Ralston is a Brooklyn-based artist whose sculptural works are the physical record of her explorations of loss, repair, and transformation.

Ralston holds a MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University and a BFA in Visual Art from Hartford Art School. She has exhibited and sold work at Gowanus Open Studios, and was included in the 17th Annual Tokyo-New York Ceramic Competition hosted by New York's Nippon Gallery. Select works are currently on view at the Industry City DeMuro Das showroom in Brooklyn, New York.

Originally trained as a graphic designer, Bonnie turned to environmental education shortly after an attempted thruhike of the Appalachian Trail in 2009. She resumed regular studio practice shortly thereafter, ending a 15-year hiatus.

Statement

What I love most about working in clay is its physicality and unpredictability. There is a sort of magic to the process, and the finished work is not mine alone. It is a collaboration with water, heat, gravity, chemistry, time, and chance.

The studio is one of the few places where I feel unbroken. Through my work, I in turn salvage, repair, and make whole that which never was. I prefer to leave untouched the cracks, awkward joins, and scars — the evidence of becoming.

I take my aesthetic cues from my surroundings, and spend much of my time studying sidewalks, buildings, roadways, and walls. I'm inspired by moments that reveal the built environment softening and giving way to time, wear, and to the natural processes that govern us all. The indelible fingerprints we've left on the world, even these eventually transform into something new and beautiful—an unintended collaboration between humankind and that which we try to control.

Process

All of my work begins as a slab.

I rarely work from sketches.

My favorite tools are accidents.

Every piece is a learning experience.

inquiries: bonnieralston@yahoo.com
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with gratitude and love to adrienne yurick and the community of artists at Third Avenue Clay who helped me find my way back to clay.