Colleen Sweeney Steblein

I have a completely nostalgic streak within me when it concerns my childhood and my ceramic work taps into that playful fun of the toys I remember growing up.  I’ve always loved the graphic nature of color worked into black outlines, much like a coloring book or the illustrations of Joan Walsh Anglund whose illustrations caught my eye as a child.  My ceramics capture this bold yet nostalgic feel through the use of stains that antique the surface and then applied colors to dance upon the surface.  Larger pieces also have a contrast between matte and gloss surfaces and usually a sprinkling of gold leaf.  My “Back to the Basics Building Blocks for Grown-Ups” have an all over antique glaze that ages the color and tends to lend to its tactile appeal.

I like to have fun and escape from the pressures of the everyday world while working in my studio, indeed that’s the appeal for most artists, but I daydream of my childhood with all the silliness and fun and these pieces just come out for me to play.  It’s my hope that some childhood playfulness will come out in you as well and for a bit, you can play too.