Alleman, Carol Biography
In late 2000, after leaving her teaching career in art, Carol Alleman expanded her artistic visions in clay to include the lost wax casting in bronze. Embracing the alchemistic nature of this ageless material and highly crafted process, she created her first bronze vessel, Miracles. Thus began the mystical and organic Tree of Life and Nature Vessel Series. This transition mirrored, to her, the longevity and ever changing character of nature as the bronze material holds inherent longevity and the patinas are ever, if softly, changing from season to season.
Her signature, museum-quality work encompasses highly evolved, intricate patinas and vast cut-out areas providing dramatic displays of light - within the ancient, feminine vessel form. The infinity of the circular form, while open to receive and pour forth is a powerful essence for her.Companion Writings accompany each bronze - sharing the inspiration of each piece as she received it while typically including a poem.
She hopes and expects each piece to continue to speak to its caretaker, with a Voice changing within each new season of their life. Combining the written word with her growing forest of bronze vessels, Carol additionally inspires audiences through her presentations and poetry readings.
Born in rural Pennsylvania, Carol Alleman obtained her degree in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University (PA/USA) and continued graduate studies at the Lancaster Theological Seminary (PA/USA). Most recently, she has completed studies with various contemporary artists at the Scottsdale Artist School, Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an elected Signature Member of American Women Artists, a member of Allied Artists of America and a member of Artists for Conservation. Her work has been reviewed as a featured artist by Southwest Art, Phoenix Home and Garden and Western Art & Architecture.She has completed numerous commissions, exhibits widely across North America including numerous museums and has earned awards in many juried exhibitions, while appreciating an international collector base. Her work is in the permanent collection of The Tucson Museum of Art.
The intertwining dance - of nature, vessel, and the spiritual realms - continues to prevail in my work. Qualities of the ancient vessel form mirror my essence of living and creating. The circular form is powerful in its representation of the never-ending journey of eternity. The feminine vessel energies illuminate a willingness to receive (remaining open), a penchant to nourish (embrace and enrich), and the intention to renew the cycle through sharing (pouring forth and giving birth). The endlessly inspiring vessel qualities, coupled with my deep appreciation for the immense wisdom and beauty of nature, continue to be fertile seeds for the Tree of Life Series. Alluring and beautifully hued wildflowers of the Nature Series expand the body of work with a captivating and distinctively brilliant palette. Organic and mystical, each of the vessels impart an ethereal quality.
Typically the smaller vessels are created as I hand-build a form in water-based clay, using slab and coiling techniques. I then refine the surfaces using a repertoire of tools often including a rice paddle, metal ribs and various stones. Always, I smooth and massage the interior with a slice of coconut shell, now worn to an intimately, silken surface. It is during this process of turning, scraping, and smoothing that I sit attentively listening to the vessel for guidance on its intentions - its voice. If I begin with an idea, I attempt to hold it most loosely, so as not to miss the opportunity to hear a deeper Wisdom. With the surface prepared, and having received a sense of the forms' intention, I begin sketching on the surface with a small needle tool. With sketching complete, I use a subtractive sculpting method: removing all the clay that will not contribute to the finished form. Concentrated attention is given to the balance and rhythm of light as it will flow through the vessel openings - the light, and its reflections, being a powerful Presence within each vessel. A final refining of the surface and cutout areas follows before allowing the piece to slowly dry before it is fired in a kiln or molded. Certain vessels, including all larger vessels, are created in an oil based clay and/or wax. While these most often require armature, the process is quite similar with three major exceptions: the clay is never fired, the negative spaces created by the cut-outs must be visualized rather than actually "cut through" and a combination of additive and subtractive sculpting techniques are used.
The ancient, organic vessel form has become my signature canvas. I welcome other forms, dimensions and presentations as they arise in their season and enrich my ground of creative exploration. Intricately developed, multi-colored patinas continue to both challenge and entice me as I explore and expand the limits of traditional patina in my major body of bronze sculpture.
Forms, creatures and numeric elements take on a sometimes cloaked and sometimes visible presence in my work weaving a mystical, symbolic thread. I am continuously inspired by the incessant, mystical voice of nature and the human spirit in all its colors. Coupled with the profoundly feminine qualities of the vessel form, nature enkindles me to give voice to the darker corners of the heart while igniting a glowing ray of hope and solidarity. Unceasingly, I hope to be an ever growing gardener of the soul through my intertwining visual and written expressions.