Noelle Malevitis: Artist Feature
Coloma, Michigan, South Haven Center for the Arts, Artist Member
Ceramicist, NHM Ceramics
Having completed my first year with the South Haven Center for the Arts, I am grateful to be a part of a team that is so impactful in our community through the arts. Always a sculptor of anything I could find a sensory sensation with, I found clay in 2013 and have engaged the medium with passion and discovery ever since. Studying ceramics at Western Michigan University and obtaining a BFA, I deeply rooted my artistic aesthetics in the foundations of this art form. After graduating in 2016, I began instructing ceramics classes at the Krasl Art Center. In 2018, I joined the SHCA team and their mission to enrich our community through the arts. As a Southwest Michigan native and artist, it is important for me to support arts organizations through their missions and utilize their resources as I understand how much work and care goes into making this available to artists. Currently, I am working on growing my body of work under the artist name, NHM Ceramics. Follow me on Instagram @nhmceramics for process videos, posts of new work, and occasionally some live music and photos of my dog, Wilson.
During my first years of exploration with this medium, I formed a close relationship with the practice of the Japanese art form, Wabi Sabi. A practice that refers to the more fragile or asymmetrical a humble object is the more it can be appreciated, Wabi. Describing the beauty of aging and the savoring of life through the passage of time, Sabi. Ceramics elated me because I understood the utilitarian aspect of forming a ball of clay into something delicate, unique, and visually stimulating all while knowing this piece was created with a lot of hard work, and to finish it in it’s complete form, there will be a lot of hard work to follow. This practice has shown me patience and acceptance within my work and myself. It has developed and evolved into my own self-discovery through clay, now I throw pots as a form of therapeutic relief from the everyday noise in my head. Absorbing inspiration from textures formed organically, I complete all my ceramic pieces with a textural aspect that enlightens the senses and leads to an introductory of exploration in ceramic objects.
Favorite art tool…
Other than my hands, which are the most worn, fragile and hardworking tools in my studio, I enjoy refining my clay pieces with a wet sponge. Cleaning up a ceramic object with a wet sponge before fired speaks volumes in craftsmanship to ceramic piece. After fired of course, clay turns to stone and any sharp little clay crumble that was not brushed off with the wet sponge prior is now sharp. I use a wet sponge in the first and last stages of completing a piece, I am unable to complete my work without this helpful tool.
My favorite unexpected art tool has to be my re-purposed and broken dental tools. I worked briefly in a dental office and was able to have my pick at any old dental tools to take home and work with in clay. Due to the sharpness of these tools, I use them primarily for carving into clay.
I have included photos of my favorite working sponge, my re-purposed dental tools, and some recent work. All work is thrown on the potter’s wheel then altered to add texture using carving tools or wax resists painted designs.
Noelle Malevitis is a South Haven Center for the Arts Artist Member. As a benefit of this membership level, we are proud to be featuring Artists Members on our blog. If you are an artist member and want to be featured, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to be an artist member? See more information here: https://www.southhavenarts.org/artist-membership