ART FOR ART’S SAKE: LUCRECIA WAGGONER

BY GREG HAYNES JOHNSON

DSC_1014.JPGWe love that porcelain and installation artist Lucrecia Waggoner is unveiling her latest collection of works via a solo exhibition entitled Expressions of Nature at Dallas’ Samuel Lynne Galleries.

In this collection, Waggoner integrates elements of nature, inspired by global cultures, the scenic landscapes of Texas and Mexico, and the celestial atmosphere of the night sky. Some referencing the seasons, the pieces use exquisite detail to remind the eye of pink and orange sunsets, crisp silver frost, and deep autumn warmth.

When asked about her pursuit of refined ceramic art, Waggoner jokes that she was “sick of making ashtrays for my guests to break in my bar” and that is a mission accomplished because the techniques she has mastered produce stunning pieces to be admired, yet far too fine to handle.

There are many things that make Waggoner stand out in any crowd, but especially that of sculptors and ceramicists. Most obvious is her warm beauty, modern style, and charming, witty Latin personality. Her amazing eye for detail and patient hand for manipulating fragile materials are most striking when viewing her works.  

Each show takes a full eight months to create – and, each of the hundreds of pieces takes at least eight weeks from conception to completion. The current show includes four installations that each has more than 100 pieces. One twelve-piece installation is especially complex having multi-layered pieces that range from 10” to 24”. Like fingerprints, every piece that Waggoner creates is completely unique.

Porcelain artist Lucrecia Waggoner
Porcelain artist Lucrecia Waggoner

Lucrecia Waggoner recently sat down with me to talk about the show and her fascinating story of learning the craft as a child and honing it over 30 years.

GHJ: How did you get started with ceramics?

LW: When I was seven years old in Mexico City I started taking classes at a public recreation center then graduated to workshops at the museums.

At first it was just simple clay pots and other crafts. I later studied in France, Germany, Hong Kong and, then completed a two-year program at the Parsons School in New York City. My studies in Hong Kong taught me exacting technical skills. The Chinese teachers would actually sacrifice a piece if less than technically perfect.

GHJ: The movement in your work feels organic. Do you strive for technical perfection?

LW:  Unlike the Chinese, Japanese porcelain artisans that I’ve observed celebrate and gild the flaws in their work. For the last five years or so I’ve become friends with Heidi Loewen, a Santa Fe sculptor and ceramic artist.   Heidi has encouraged me to find ways similar to the Japanese style, celebrating the turns that works take and embellishing the unintended.

GHJ: Tell me about your relationship with Heidi Loewen.

LW: When I walked into Heidi’s studio for the first time I saw that she was accomplishing the larger-scale that I had wanted. I think Heidi enjoyed my passion when I asked her to teach me how to manipulate the larger pieces.  She’s now become my close friend and mentor Heidi has taught me to let the work become what it wants.

GHJ: You’ve made quite an impression in the art world with your intricate and dramatic installations.

LW: I have only been showing my work publicly for seven years, but am pleased to have collectors from Montecito, California to the Carolinas in the US. In Mexico there are installations in Monterrey and Mexico City.   Of course, Texas is where most of my work resides. Some well-known Texans that collect my pieces are interior designer Gonzalo Bueno, real estate investor Bill Hutchinson, restaurateur Alberto Lombardi, and bespoke purveyor Ed Shaikh.

GHJ: How did you land in Texas…Dallas?

LW: I met my husband John in Mexico City. He has clients there. We married and he brought me to Dallas. I’ve continued my studies in Dallas completing an Associates program at the Meadows School at SMU. Our two children are in school here and, the friendliness of Texans has afforded me a wonderful group of friends. Although I expect we have many more stops in our future, Texas has certainly become my home.

Lucrecia Waggoner’s Expressions of Nature will be on exhibit from February 23rd to March 24th. The opening reception with the artist is Saturday, February 23rd from 5 to 9PM. Exclusive preview appointments to view the collection are available starting Wednesday, February 20th through Friday February 22nd.

Samuel Lynne Galleries is located at 1105 Dragon Street in Dallas and for more information call 214.965-9027, visit www.samuellynne.com. Or, e-mail Karen@SamuelLynne.com.

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