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Jenny Lind 1942-2011.

JENNY LIND PASSED AWAY OCTOBER 18, 2011. She was 68 years old. The trajectory of her life left the world a weaving of masterful drawing, delicate porcelain and an exuberance of colour unparalleled in American ceramics.

Lind earned a degree in painting from the University of New Mexico in the 1960s and she began to seriously work with and decorate clay in 1967-1968. She and her first husband, Dick Masterson, and their three young children, Anna, Jessica and Josh, lived in north Albuquerque in a house and ancient motel, which they used as a studio. They were surrounded by grounds filled with a vast menagerie of animals (horses, goats, sheep, geese, chickens, guinea hens, peacocks, dogs, cats, lizards, eight or 10 different species of finches, a parrot and a gorgeous toucan. It was an inspiring bedlam that Lind nurtured and loved and which provided her with the models for the grand procession of drawings that informed her clay and her printmaking throughout her life. Everywhere she lived she included such arrangements of animals which she loved and cared for.

In the early years her drawings were simple, free dances of lines filled with air and whimsy wrapping around beautifully balanced porcelains. As time went on, she discovered lustres and developed a vast array of underglaze and china paint colours. With this technological skill her work took on complex narrative structures featuring human figures, symbolic and spiritual themes and magical evocations. In this she was encouraged and helped by her husband Allan Walter, a fine ceramics artist and a master at solving technical problems. Walter and Lind were married in August 1976 and together in 1983 they started Animals and Company which they ran out of a studio in a horse stable in La Cienega, New Mexico. Animals and Company produced a circus of whimsical and highly functional animal teapots as well as decorative vases of cast porcelain. Lind designed and painted the work and Walter figured out how to cast and put the work into production. Animals and Company sold the work throughout the US and abroad. This was done through craft fairs, galleries and contracts with major department stores.

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In 1995 Walter and Lind started another business named Rainbow Gate, which continues operating in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rainbow Gate produces a succulent array of richly coloured hand painted dinnerware that sports animals, fruit, vegetables and flower patterns. This is not ordinary dinner ware. Food dances on its vibrating surfaces. Kids contest each other for their favourite images. Sometimes people do not know if they have finished their meals. Gorgeous and succulent. As good as it gets.

Throughout these ventures Lind made time to produce her own work--pots, sculpture, tea bowls, prints for exhibitions in galleries and museums. She was often commissioned for major architectural works (murals, bathrooms, kitchens). Because of her superb drawing skills and her sense of colour, Lind was asked by and interacted with important printmaking facilities producing etchings, lithographs and mono-prints. In the last years of her life, Jenny Lind resumed painting, coming full circle into a realm of personal spiritual iconography using the howling vibrancy of colour that enshrined her life.

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A Remembrance by Frank Boyden

Frank Boyden was trained as a painter, printmaker and art historian but in 1968 got seduced by clay and the world of the ceramic arts. In 1972 he stopped painting and gave his full time to clay. In 1984 he built the sixth anagama kiln in America and has spent the time since then perfecting the discipline of woodfiring at high temperatures, working only with porcelain since 1993. What sets Boyden's work alone and makes it cohesive through the 40+ years is his energetic and fluid incised drawings on vases. Boyden has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and has conducted hundreds of workshops and lectures around the world. He has acted as advisor and guest editor for Ceramics: Art and Perception and Studio Potter periodicals. He is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and NCECA.
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Author:Boyden, Frank
Publication:Ceramics Art & Perception
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:681
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