Terracotta Sculptures and Silkscreen Prints by Sue Clowes

I began introducing sculptural elements into my silk screen prints during the 1990’s. I made life size sculptures of heads and torsos sometimes weighing up to 30 kilos. I photographed the statues and composed the images into collages using blocks of colour or painted very large canvasses in oils. In 1995 I had two exhibitions resulting in a commission in bronze and the culmination of working in these new mediums began experiments of printing onto wood.

In this photo-gallery there are Sue Clowes’ sculpture and  silkscreen print exhibition at Palazzo Lanfredi, Firenze 1995.

Designing patterns on the computer robs a designer of the sensation of touch colour and the flow of fabric. It’s like cooking without tasting the ingredients. My local town has been producing terracotta for building construction and decorative arts for a thousand years. The name literally means “baked earth,” and is it made from natural clay, which gives it a characteristic reddish-brown color. I made life sized busts from the clay and it was very difficult to work with such big pieces. Just getting them into the car to take them to the kilns to fire resulted in many casualties. Those that survived the car ride exploded in the kiln with dramatic disasters. I had to apologize to many heads separated from their shoulders; the noses and ears frequently wrapped and handed back to me by the kiln worker .Some survived and my favorite is a terracotta bust named ‘Santa Perfetta’. She was the inspiration for a series of silk screen and sketches in 1996 and exhibited in Florence in 1996.