When I look at Taylor Kibby’s ceramic sculptures, I feel transported to a place of movement and lightness, like looking out onto Lake Michigan. Her work completely transforms any space it is placed. The delicate chain links fill the room with texture and mood.

It was a pleasure to chat with Taylor, thank you! And just wait until you see her piece commissioned by Mandy Moore!

Tell us about yourself:

I grew up in Los Angeles in a family of artists. Still, I actually had a long circuitous route to being an artist myself. I initially graduated from culinary school intending to be a pastry chef! I worked for a few years in kitchens, but ultimately I realized that sculpture was my future. 

I chose an MFA program called Applied Craft and Design in Portland, OR, that investigated where the worlds of craft, art, and design intersect; I was interested in building a fluid practice where the lines between ideas were less rigid. Upon graduating, I moved back to LA and have been slowly building my practice through a meditative exploration of material processes. I am lucky to have opportunities to show my work at galleries internationally and be a part of many private collections. 

What kind of physical/mental space are you in when you create?

I use my practice as a form of moving meditation or a way to think through making. This means I often have long days of repetitive making that allow me to get into a flow state. I use the ideas formed during this meditative making to fuel research and new avenues of inquiry.

Will you tell us about the piece commissioned for Mandy Moore’s new home?

The work for Mandy was influenced by the really beautiful rich blue of the sculpture, which for me, in California, always seems to pull my mind back to the expanse of the sea and sky. I was also thinking a lot about texture. Through twisting and carving the ceramic and wrapping a handful of rings in embroidery thread, I wove in additions that would use light and shadow to the fullest. The work is called ‘It rips your heart with joy’; I often think of titles as a way to capture and convey a feeling about the work, and this one seems wistful but full of joy.

Is there a defining moment in your life that speaks to who you are as an artist today?

Though it may be strange to say, when I was little, I was physically and emotionally hyper-sensitive. How I experienced the world through touch was often difficult; thus, change became a thing of great fear. This hyper-awareness of the space around me and my desire to confront my fears has been the main driver behind most of the choices in my practice. I choose to work with materials that have a logic of their own, preventing my perfectionism from getting in my way. My work challenges me to navigate the unknown and to live with uncertainty. It continues to teach me how to find joy and freedom in the making. 

What kind of materials do you use in your sculptures?

I began making sculptures with clay, which allowed me to understand how responsive materials can be to touch. Now I work with clay, glass beads, and fiber because these three craft-rooted materials connect me to ideas of labor, women’s work, and the importance of the tactility of sculpture. 

How did you start working with these materials? 

I started working with clay because I appreciated the versatility of the material and its responsiveness to touch. I introduced fiber and glass beads next to explore more texture and detail within the work. These three continue to evolve together and take on new meanings.

How does color impact your work? 

Color is so important in my work. I am drawn toward less saturated colors and tend to do work that keeps a monotone palette. This stems from my desire for the sculpture and its many small, subtle details that catch and hold the viewer’s attention. Color is too easily digestible, and when you have work that asks people to spend time and look closer, it creates intimacy and reciprocity.

What is exciting you right now in the art world? 

Seeing mediums like fiber and ceramics getting recognition is so exciting. I know so many artists that make incredible, thoughtful, labor-intensive work, finally having the world recognize their efforts. 

Is there anything upcoming you want to talk about?

I am so excited to be showing new work with Stroll Garden, an LA-based gallery, at NADA Foreland this coming July 21-23, 2023.

Learn more about Taylor here

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Purchase available work here

For more information about her upcoming show, look here

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