Looking for Balance

Looking for Balance
Taylor Robenalt
July 28, 1983
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 2020.10
Medium: Porcelain, cone 6 oxidation, underglaze, glaze, and luster
Size: 16 x 5 x 12 in.
Date: 2019
Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art

"A majority of my pieces are personal narratives about daily life. I use animals as recurring symbols to relay emotions and topics important to me. “Looking For Balance" is a piece about my conflicting desire to be more settled in my personal life while still having the freedom to work and travel as a ceramic artist. Two animals I use repeatedly in current works are rabbits and birds. Rabbits are used as a symbol of fertility and birds are often symbols of freedom. Through grants, scholarships, and residencies, I have been able to travel internationally for over a decade. While travel challenged me as an artist, it also meant I lived a nomadic life. It is often what artists have to do to enhance and further their careers. For me, the bird often represents an artist’s nomadic life. The scale of the rabbit is important in this piece because starting a family has become much more of a focal point in my life. When using a bird in my work, it has become more diminutive in scale - travel and the freedom it represents are becoming less important to me. The bird facing the opposite direction implies that these two values can be at odds with each other and symbolizes my internal struggle around these topics. I have to find the balance between the two. However, I do feel these two aspects of my personality can co-exist. The lilies symbolize a rejuvenation of the soul and a commitment to this phase of my life.   My work is made of porcelain and completely hand built. I began with the body of the rabbit and added the legs, head and ears to the form. After that, I constructed the lilies, leaves, and the bird. I added those separate pieces to the rabbit form. When I was satisfied with the overall design of the various forms, I added more details to them. I covered the piece and let it slowly dry for approximately two weeks. After a bisque firing, I sanded it and began the glazing process. Everything was hand painted and then placed into the kiln for a second firing. The final painting stage was the application of the silver luster, after which the piece was placed in the kiln for its third and final firing." -Taylor Robenalt