Inspiration comes to Patty Muenks, ceramic artist in St. Charles, Missouri, in a variety of spaces, from thick forest trails and sandy coastlines to wildflower-filled meadows and rocky outcroppings. The common thread is a closeness with nature. Combinations of colors, detailed patterns, and organic forms come out in her ceramic art.
One of Patty’s signature works are her ceramic stones. Each stone is formed in the palm of her hand, then individually designed with freestyle carvings and patterns. These ceramic stones are fully glazed in a variety of colors to promote the smooth, tangible quality found in nature. She expands on this unique clay carving technique, creating organic sculptures, both hanging and free standing. She enjoys hand building with pinch pots, coils and slabs. Her slab building leads to unique boxes, vases, and other vessel forms.
Through these techniques, Patty allows the clay some freedom to create more organic shapes while exploring the endless possibilities hand building has to offer. She mimics the forms found in nature where edges have been sculpted, smoothed, and rounded by the elements.
The natural elements have such a profound impact on the clay body, from the earth and water of the clay to the fire and air of the kiln. Marks, images, textures, and patterns are permanently recorded on the surface of the clay.
Patty uses a variety of commercial glazes and fires all her ceramic art in electric or raku kilns in her home studio. Each piece is an original, handmade design. Many patterns and designs are sketched out before she plunges into the clay. Her ceramic art adds unique character to any home and garden while echoing the elements of nature.