Paul Maloney

Artist Statement

Utilizing vessels as visual timekeepers: jars, cups, bowls, and bottles begin to stand alone as ceramic diary entries. They are permanent record keepers of everyday occurrences, revealing both personal and public encounters. My works reference music, our current political climate, pop-culture, or even the bland beer slugged down from the night before. Anything is fair game, big or small. There are so many moments that encompass a person’s history, from life changing events to that time the small sandwich from the bodega made you sick. All of these facets in life are what constructs a person's DNA, who they are at their core.

Moving often, I have a checkered path to what I call “home”. From the most rural mountain cabin of Appalachia to a downtown Milwaukee apartment, each place brings a new idiosyncratic reality that alters my perception. I find equal beauty in the moss that covers the maple trees in the south as I do the well crafted graffiti bombs that line the signs along highway 20 west through downtown Atlanta. These memories and scenes translate into sometimes subtle, sometimes loud interpretations of those experiences.

By pushing the clay, works become informed and instigated by slip, glaze and sgraffito mark-making. The painting and building of each piece prompts a ceramic freestyle that begins to manifest as etched words, appendages, drips, lines, reliefs, flicks and holes - each choice moves in a complementary rhythm to the needs of each piece. Pulling from my love of endurance based activities, works are often fired through the kiln over and over again. There is a joy in watching both the gradual and drastic shifts that the fire can provide. I enjoy layering more and more colors and textures onto the works with every recess from the heat. The end result is often a mystery to me, as I attempt to willingly accept the unknown and proceed excitedly blind.

-- Paul Maloney


Paul Maloney is a ceramic artist born in Houston, Texas and presently living in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Georgia, completing both his BA in Art History and BFA in Ceramics. While attending UGA, Paul was also given the opportunity to study both art history and old testament religion at Oxford University as an associate member of Keble College. He later would attain his MFA in Ceramics from Indiana University – Bloomington. Paul has made work all throughout the United States, with opportunities at Haystack Mountain School of Craft, the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, Penland School of Crafts, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and The Bascom: A Center for Visual Arts.