Abby Deneau — Plates a Plenty Exhibit Opening

Abby Deneau “Plates a Plenty”

Pottery Exhibit on Display for May

Artist Bio

Originally from Hartford, Mich., Abby Deneau is an artist, educator and mother to her four-year-old son, Lucas. A budding entrepreneur and devotee of the creative industry, Abby is the owner and operator of Sunset Clay Studio in Lansing, Mich. The studio is a fully-equipped ceramics facility and shared creative and soulful space where artists gather to make work, share ideas and support one another.

In her own clay work, Abby uses hand-building methods to create modern sculptures and pottery. She also crafts prototypes of some of her select original designs, fashioning molds, which allow her to slip-cast identical multiples of her most popular and unique pieces.

A 2003 graduate of Michigan State University, Abby holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art. Aside from making art, she also enjoys teaching others. Abby discovered her love of teaching when she began working at the Reach Studio Art Center in 2006, teaching students beginning clay, hand-building and other clay classes in the center’s after-school and summer programs.

Abby continues to share her love of artistry and the creative process with area youth at Reach and at the Lansing Art Gallery. Additionally, Abby offers workshops at her own studio for both children and adults. She creates and sells her original ceramic artwork from her studio. You can also find her work on Etsy and on her website Abby’s work will be on display at the Arts Council through the end of May, and opening reception will be held on May 6, 2016 from 5 – 8 p.m.

Artist Statement

Plates a Plenty is an experiment in porcelain–an idea that came to me after an event at my studio. It was a great occasion that was well attended, and I was so excited about that, but as I cleaned up, I became very disheartened over the amount of plastic garbage that was generated.

And then I thought, why not reuse the disposable plastic trays and dishes as molds for creating forms for my own dishes. I poured plaster in them and used the forms created as the foundation for my colored porcelain platters. To add color and vibrancy, I used squeeze bottles full of colored porcelain to make designs on the plaster, then I peeled the colored porcelain off the plaster and affixed it to a slab of porcelain.

The plates are hand-built and delicate, and some of them are cracked, reflecting not only the fragile nature of the porcelain but the fragile relationship between us and Mother Earth. The bright colors and patterns remind me of the beauty that exists in our physical environment and the importance of working and living in ways that protect that beauty and help to preserve its future.