Working in clay and mixed media, Delaware artist Jennifer Davies-Reazor creates a beautifully detailed body of work rich in meaning and story.
Where do your inspiration and ideas come from?
My inspirations are diverse; when I have to sum it up concisely I say “ myth, nature, and folklore”. I have been fascinated with mythology since I was a child, and the common threads and motifs that are woven through varied cultures. I love the sense of magic and mystery that myth and folklore reintroduces to our modern tech world; the symbols and archetypes that resonate across cultures. I am continually inspired by the feminine divine, goddesses from the world over, and the myths they inhabit.
Have you always been a creative one?
Yes! I was always drawing as a child, painting models - but not necessarily following the directions... I had beaded jewelry in a local shop when I was in high school... It was clear I wanted to continue in the arts in college.
What do you like creating the most?
I love sculpting. smushing soft clay around and creating a sculptural image in relief. Adding, carving, devoting hours to a master that I will cast in plaster as a tile.But I am happiest when designing and creating a mixed media piece. Starting with the content, the intent. Engineering, fabrication/integration of diverse materials, colors, layers... and assembling it. Watching it come together, come to fruition.
What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
Magic. Alchemy. Turning a lump of wet clay into a shrine, carved with mermaids. Fabricating a sheet of copper into a leaping hare. Creating something from disparate elements with my hands, my vision, my skills.Freedom. Diversity. The ability to go from clay to metal to gems. The freedom to combine materials as I see fit, as a piece requires it.
Are you influenced by trends, other artists, or movements? How so?
I am a huge fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. While my work doesn't follow their style visually per se, I like my work to have depth of meaning, intention, and at times a narrative element; as they were known to do. I also love the Arts and Crafts Movement/William Morris. The concept of well designed functional items, beautiful to use and behold; the appreciation of things made by hand; these tenets echo my own philosophy.
Do you do anything else besides making art?
I am a professional teaching artist. Having taught full time in the MD public schools, I love teaching, but have gone freelance since settling in DE. I teach ceramics classes at The Art Studio in New Castle Co. DE. I also teach a variety of mixed media and jewelry workshops there. I look forward to teaching my first national class at Beadfest Philadelphia this August - a mixed media jewelry class.
What is your hope for the future of the arts in America?
Wow. Thats the topic for a whole secondary interview... when I was teaching I could use the arts to teach critical thinking in a hands on way, to encourage creative problem solving. It was fulfilling to see students blossom when presented with a different way to work/do/create... I would hope that the value of an arts education, and the arts in general would be elevated, valued, and supported. The arts are a vehicle of history, culture, expression, and experience that can only enrich our lives.
Where can we find your work?
I am online at my website/blog (www.jdaviesreazor.com) as well as my Etsy shop. ( www.etsy.com/shop/jdaviesreazor) My work is available at The Palette and The Page in Elkton MD and Sweet Melissa’s in York PA. I am an exhibiting member of the Newark Arts Alliance and the Rehoboth Art League and I do arts festival in the Mid Atlantic region.
*all artwork copyright Jennifer Davies-Reazor
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