2018 - Signature Artist: Layl McDill

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Layl McDill 

Artist Statement

Remember that feeling when you went to a museum and saw all the mysterious old tools from ancient worlds laid out in row after row?   Or maybe you got a peek inside some broken electronic and saw all those circuits. Then there are all the times when something mysterious about nature is explained and still you just can’t hardly believe it. The word that comes closest to describing that fantastic feeling that drives you to pursue more knowledge and fills you with joy is “wonder”.

I use wonderment as a mechanism to show the things we live with every day in a new perspective, like the green hills you drive by every day or the laundry hanging on the line. When you are surrounded by my polymer clay sculptures it is as if you are seeing the world through a patterned lense where the mundane is much more precious and mysterious.

My technique and materials are also very mysterious. I use primarily polymer clay with the ancient technique of millefiori. Tiny images that cover every surface of my sculptures inevitably make the viewer wonder “How did she do that?” And even though I have been doing it for more than twenty years it still seems amazing that I can create a tiny picture inside a chunk of clay.

I have spent my artistic career rendering versions of the world we live in into windows of wonderment. With my most recent work I hope to tingle the viewer's imagination towards opening their mind to seeing something in a new perspective. In one of my recent pieces “The Root of the Problem” a tree grows above a bulb of roots filled with antique mirrors. “Air Celebration” is a joyful piece that makes you think about our most precious invisible necessity. Both pieces speak of awareness or even possibly give a subtle nudge towards activism to change our impact on the earth.

Viewers are drawn to the magic and wonder of my work. They will be not only fascinated by the technique but presented with some thoughts about ways to look at the world we live in and given their daily dose of wonderment.

About the Artwork

Once upon a time each of us was a little kid. Everything was nonsense. We wondered about everything. We wondered what was in the cupboard, the drawers, and boxes. For me making my art helps me keep this magical doorway to wonderment open.

My technique and materials are also very mysterious and magical. I create millefiore canes from colored clay which is layered and stretched then sliced to reveal tiny images in the clay. These slices and the scraps that come out of the process become the building blocks for my sculptures.

My polymer clay pieces are inspired purely out of playfulness and serendipity. When I make my teapots I often start with the shape of the teapot and wait to see what it tells me it wants to be. Then as I add clay the piece comes to life. I always hope to create something that no one has seen before that can also encourage viewers to see magic in their everyday life.

2018 Exhibiting Artists

 
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Layl McDill
Minneapolis, MN
Booth 110