Abigail Carney won an American Visions Award for her glazed earthenware Sculpture entry, Turtle. In this guest blog post she shares one of the secrets behind her work: vivid dreams and Clive Barker.

I have always enjoyed creating things. As a child I would spend hours making crafts on my bedroom floor. I mostly create because I enjoy the challenge of making the vision in my head available to other people to see. I also sometimes feel as though the art has a life of its own, and it wants to be revealed and shared.

Abigail Carney at the 2010 Throw-A-Thon, an annual 12-hour ceramics marathon hosted by her ceramics teacher. All works produced at the event are sold and proceeds are donated to charity.

I actually got the inspiration for Turtle, my American Visions Award-winning piece, in a dream. I was at an aquarium and he was in a tank, munching on some underwater grass. He looked much happier in my dream than he turned out in real life, but maybe he’s just mad that I took him away from his tasty plant. Still, I’m really pleased that he has so much expression in his face, even if it’s not the expression I intended. That’s also why I have a tendency to refer to Turtle as if he’s alive, because he was in my dream and because he developed this somewhat grumpy character all on his own.

Turtle-ConceptSketch

Abigail's preliminary concept sketch for her American Award Visions-winning piece, "Turtle."

Abigail's preliminary concept sketch for her American Visions Award-winning sculpture, "Turtle."

The majority of my original pieces, like Turtle, come from my dreams. I have very vivid dreams, and I keep a dream journal where I can write or sketch what I see as soon as I wake up. I got the idea from Clive Barker, an author and painter that inspired my Silver Key piece, Skinny Kitty. And if artists had superpowers… I think I would do something with people’s dreams, like helping to interpret them or traveling through them.

Describe my artwork in one word? I think I would use…. “Peculiar.”

Abigail Carney's American Visions Award-winning sculpture, "Turtle."

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