About the Artist
Margaret Henkels has worked in clay for many years. She began with aspirations to become a functional potter, later collaborated on a line of decorative ceramics, and now produces hand built sculptures that reflect a preoccupation with both architecture and landscape, as well as a fascination with the art of everyday objects.After growing up in the Boston area, Margaret lived in New York City, where she taught ceramics at Baldwin Pottery and Riverside Church Arts and Crafts. She became the first Marketing Director at Women’s Studio Workshop in the Hudson Valley in the late 80s and started the clay program there. A career in fundraising followed a move to Austin in the early 90s. Margaret retired from the staff of Environmental Defense Fund in 2018, and is now free to focus her energies on clay.
I am interested in the passage of time and in the possibilities of transformation. I mark a moment by creating an object and a space. The material I work with used to be something else: water dripping on rock produced clay. As I work with it, it becomes something else again. I fire to cone 04 in an electric kiln; pieces always go through two firings and sometimes three or more. There are times when I take another run at a piece after it’s been glaze fired, adding gouache, colored pencil, oil stick, or pastels. More recently, I have taken to adding clay slabs to what might have been finished works and refiring the piece to include those additions. My constructions reflect my fascination with the permissions and limitations of architecture, as well as a preoccupation with the possibilities and vagaries of traditional ceramic forms. The surfaces refer to the subtle gradations of color and stony surfaces I seek in a landscape. To me the works are both a place of rest and a mode of transportation to another world.