Applying for a scholarship grant can be an exciting and nerve-racking process. Ceramics MFA student Adrienne Eliades knows the feeling well. She recently applied for the Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Educational Fund, a private charitable foundation with the mission to offer financial support to full time undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in the visual arts. She was hoping to receive the grant before graduating so that she could use the funds toward her thesis project.
Upon returning from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where she was assisting a class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, she found something waiting for her. “I received a package in the mail with a letter of congratulations,” says Eliades. “I was so ecstatic that I let out a scream and started to dance around with my puppy.”
Eliades’ work is design-focused functional tableware for the staging and serving of shared food. She uses a combination of wheel throwing and hand-building techniques to construct porcelain forms with streamline silhouettes characterized by clean lines and gentle organic curves. The smooth surfaces alternate between gem-like areas of gloss and sugar-like satin matte glazes. This dichotomy is inviting to both sight and touch.
“The daily relationships individuals have with food are an opportunity for interaction of slow food with slow design,” says Eliades. “From tableware to presentation vessels, my work is a channel for connecting elements of the social dining practice.”
“People gather round to fulfill a common humanistic need to feed the physical body and social soul.”
Eliades came to UF as a soda fired potter and now fires mid-range oxidation, essentially from brown pots to a world of color. Her interests in why she makes her work hasn’t changed that much, but she is far more poised at articulating why and how she makes her work.
“Working with the faculty, other grad students and my students has taught me so much about my art practice and myself,” explains Eliades. “The UF Ceramics department alumni are a force in the field, and I am so grateful to be a part of such a diverse and talented community. I hope to add to that in the years to come.”