Michelle Barnette

Class of 2020

This show is titled Beautiful, Unique, Fragile. This collection consists of pinch pots made from brown stone clay with a glaze. These pinch pots are created to be very organic forms. They represent me as a person in the way I see myself. I as an artist am very, “go with the flow” and tend to not really plan out what I’m going to create. My work is a way for me to cope with the world around me. The way this works for me is that I go to the art studio after everyone is gone and sit with either music or my favorite movies on, accompany that with a snack and I just let my hands work with the clay. It’s very calming to press into the clay and watch as my hands begin to create. A small pot takes shape as I pinch around the sides much like my love for the form. I allow myself to work with the clay letting it react how it wants to with the way I press it between my fingers. When I pinch I try to leave fingerprints in the clay to leave it with a finish that shows it has been touched. This is a way of me showing that I am just a ball of clay reacting to the way the world around me presses me and forms me into the person I am today. When I glaze the fired pots I choose glazes that have either a smooth glassy texture or a satin finish. I want the pots to be handled. They are meant to be used and have a function in life. I as a person have a function and have purpose in this life. I let that reflect in my work. As well as taking into account the finish of the glaze I try to make sure to use glaze that is 100% food safe. Along with being useful and functional, my pinch pots are fragile and can break but not as easy as glass. They are resilient to some of what the world throws at them but they do have a breaking point just as I do as a person. I wanted to create works that capture me as an artist but not have it be completely blatant to the viewer. My works are named with random letters or numbers. I don’t want the viewer to be told what to feel by a name for my works. I want them to take the works as they are. They are beautiful, unique, and fragile.



Biography

Michelle is a Mixed Media Crafts Artist studying at Emory & Henry College. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was adopted by her amazing parents Paul and Mary Barnette. As a child, Michelle was always smiling and singing. She was a truly happy child. She wanted to try most all things, clubs and teams but she never seemed to hold onto one specific talent. As she grew, she became more interested in Art and Culinary. Michelle’s family has moved a lot during her life. She has never truly been in one place for very long until they built their dream farm in Abingdon, Virginia. This is where she finished middle school and high school. Michelle attended Abingdon High School and graduated in 2016. It was here that she was given the opportunity to take Culinary Arts. Michelle completely fell in love with this and even participated and won state championships. Michelle was also given the opportunity to have some of the best art teachers while in middle and high school. This is when she truly fell in love with Art and decided to choose that as a career path and move forward with higher education. She first attended Virginia Highlands Community college for two years and then transferred to Emory & Henry. It was here that she was blessed to be able to study under some amazing Art professors and given more opportunities than she could imagine. The highlight of while attending Emory & Henry was when she attended the study abroad trip to Italy for 14 days. Michelle fell in love with ceramics after taking ceramics in high school but when she took it with Professor Remmen she knew that it was truly her passion. Michelle has had a lot of ups and downs in her personal life and this has truly shaped her into the artist she has become today. She has used Ceramics and Art as a coping skill with the daily troubles she faces. Michelle is a beautiful, unique and fragile person but with all the troubles she has faced it has been like firings for clay. She has become stronger through the heat and more resilient with every polishing, just as clay does when fired and glazed.

  • Michelle Barnett, B2, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, CRD1, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, F66, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, G7, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, J57, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, M3, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, P15, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, R5, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, S45, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, T13, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, W6, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, X99, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, Y21, 2020, Ceramic
  • Michelle Barnett, Z30, 2020, Ceramic

I wanted to create works that capture me as an artist but not have it be completely blatant to the viewer. My works are named with random letters or numbers. I don’t want the viewer to be told what to feel by a name for my works. I want them to take the works as they are. They are beautiful, unique, and fragile.

—Michelle Barnette