Brenda McMahon creates wheel thrown & burnished porcelain vessels which are saggar fired in her Greenwich, NY studio.
This soft vapor fume elicits mystical imagery and celestial kaleidoscopes on the surface of her vessels & tiles. Her wall hangings are designed as fire paintings on a clay canvas.
Every famous ceramic artist begins with inspiration, from early childhood all the way throughout life. Sometimes that inspiration is directly in the field in which the artist works, other times it is seemingly unrelated, but deeply inspired. Brenda McMahon was first inspired by the nature she grew up around in her sleepy beach community just on the outskirts of Brooklyn, NY. The never-ending crashing of the Atlantic Ocean’s waves along the shore and the strong smell of salt in the damp peninsula air imprinted itself upon her, sealing her now constant awareness of and connection to nature. In her college years, writers and musicians inspired Brenda. She loves both poetry & prose, and has a deep appreciation for lyrical song and the improvisation of jazz. As she ventured into her ceramic career, contemporary artists like Georgia O’Keefe and Natalie Goldberg brought Brenda to New Mexico, but it was the earth, the colors of the canyons and the potters of the region, the Casas Grandas pottery, which held her attention. Early Southwest ceramic art work by Maria Martinez and the contemporary work by the potters of Mata Ortiz in Mexico inspire her forms and fires. Both of these resurgent ceramic movements come from an ancient legacy of some of the finest and most innovative ceramic work in the world. Ceramic artists Magdalene Odundu, Hans Cooper, Lucie Rie, are just a few of the names of those who Brenda admires, the list is too long to mention. Ultimately, the simplicity and strength of form, some austere, others suggestive, is a unifying line Brenda, as a contemporary ceramic artist, sees in all her inspirations.