Merritt Ireland

Petrillio Studio and Clay

As an artist I have done painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, papermaking, book arts, and
photography in my studio. But the most exciting and grounding medium is Clay ,it has taken
over thirty nine years of my fifty five years as a studio artist.
My pots and clay forms tend to be basic and simple, some almost primitive. They are the basic
hand techniques of coil, slab, and pinch. Pinch is my absolute favorite. I had to mix and test my
own glazes in graduate school and mixed my own for 20 years ,but now I prefer to use slips,
stains and a few under glazes. Each pot I create is like a meditation about some natural spot on
our earth. It could be a canyon, a boulder, a bluff or part of a riverbed. It could become a
container to hold water for a chickadee to bathe in, or it could become an earth meditation
vessel in itself. My latest pieces I have been piercing with holes to let light flow through the clay
wall. They are lanterns or sun catchers.