Sol Church Zimmerdahl : My roots in ceramics take me back to the creative explorations of early childhood. As the only Child of two working single parents I had lots of time to myself. Clay was always one of my absolute favorite mediums because its amorphous qualities yield themselves so pleasurably to the imagination. The finished product stands out in space and can command great presence in a room. My path took me from the isolation of the quiet home to the noise of the classroom were my art continued to develop, ceramics and poetry in middle school, overlapping and transitioning to music in high school, which finally lead to the stage performances and sculptures of my college and post graduate years.
My modern sculptures have come a long way from the hand sculpted toys of youth. My subject matter, as well as my knowledge of the craft matured from the self gratifying play of a kid to the
spiritual pursuits of an artist. The content of my art now explores the vast intricacies and connotations of our place in the universe. Using alluring beauty as well as the macabre to illustrate conditions and concepts, my body of work continues to become more provocative with each piece. All of my sculptures have a unique approach, an element of my creative process that never ceases to remain difficult, but is rewarding in its demand of me to learn new techniques with every piece.
This broad scope of work keeps me engaged in what I do, and adds intrigue and value to my collection. I like knowing there is
always another way to go about making a piece. To this day, my ceramic techniques include: slip casting, coil building, slab work, solid sculpting, press molds, figurative, functional, anthropomorphilogical, animals, interpretive, surreal, realism, cone 018 to 10 oxidation and reduction firings with glaze under, over, and unglazed porcelain stoneware and terracotta often implementing the use of post-fired multimedia additions of various natures.
I won a scholarship at a college student exhibition in 2010 after taking three terms of ceramics and one term of mixed
media sculpture. Once I’d finished college I interned for three years with a leading porcelain artist, then I got a job working for the local clay factory. The low-fired sculpture entitled “Speech
Charm” was shown in the Portland Art museum in 2013. The cone five, raw porcelain and fine silver piece entitled “Angler of the Abyss” won the best new member award at OPA showcase 2014.
I want to free my audience from the confines of conventional thought. The brain insulates
neural pathways in a way that diminishes its ability to invent unique ideas. The mainstream media and marketing show us the same programs and commercials over and over again, increasing their affect and their ability to linger in our thoughts. You may only see my sculpture once, so the only way I can compete is to sculpt pieces that speak so potently in the one moment you cross paths with them, that they leave a
lasting impression from a single encounter. I can only hope that the content and form of my art is strong enough to lead you to a place in your mind you’ve never been.
Fine Art has been at the center of societies and civilizations since time began. Ancient peoples are understood by their artifacts, what picture will be painted by the artifacts we leave behind today? My goal as an artist is to define the world as it is now, to take a snapshot of the beauties and horrors of modern society and do my part to change our world to a place where ideas are freely exchanged and intellectualism is revered instead of looked down upon. Simply said, I am a crafter of culture.