In Tarra Wedman’s (Fallis, AB) earlier apprenticeship with graphic and architectural design, she gained a fundamental sense of proportion, design and colour that was not fully realized until she began to work with clay. She discovered the potential in extruding clay and the challenge of sculpting and carving. For Tarra, in ceramics, the process dictates the end; the form itself is by no means the finished product since there is an inherent range of possibilities at every stage.
Typically, the forms Tarra produces originate on the wheel, but she manipulates them through hand-building, carving and slip-trailing to create a fusion between the symmetry of wheel-thrown ware and the organic forms in nature. Much of the decoration is themed on stylized flowers and insects, which reflects her interest in the decorative elements of art nouveau. Nature as inspiration is also connected to Tarra’s physical environment and the fact that she lives in a country setting near a lake.
Tarra works with a gas-fired kiln, which allows considerable potential for more dimensional, layered glazes often juxtaposed to convey a sense of aged earthiness with sleek, contemporary forms. Her earliest goal of creating solid, utilitarian objects has changed as her work has evolved. She is more interested now in creating functional objects that are imbued with special beauty and meaning for the user through the emotive qualities of colour, design, texture and form.