It was in college when Stephanie Galli discovered clay. She found herself enthralled with the ceramics studio: the materials science, the problem solving and most of all the artisan process. She began making utilitarian pottery with the determination to solidify a foundation for her craft in proper function while still concentrating on visually attractive forms and surfaces. Galli found the methods of the medium not only soothing, but also gratifying. She was addicted.
Soon after Galli began experimenting more creatively, yet her love for the wheel kept her grounded to function. She found herself lingering somewhere between the practicality of pottery and the artistry of sculpture. Galli saw this dichotomy as a challenge waiting to be conquered. So she investigated: was it ever okay to create pottery with no other function than beauty?
Galli's research brought her to the French porcelain of the 16th Century and a region called Sèvres. There, a porcelain factory produced beautifully crafted decorative pots. Inspired, she began altering thrown vessels in such a way that removed their utilitarian purpose. In this alteration she found her calling.
Her forms became figurative and she became more intent on making silhouettes that referenced the female figure, with surface design inspired by the high fashion of the 1960s. Galli gravitated toward Dior, Balenciaga, and Chanel, particularly the timeless color blocking patterns and silhouettes of these great houses. Removed from the table, they were no longer individual pieces but sets meant strictly for aesthetic pleasure. Galli refers to them as lines in homage to the haute couture that
Fashion collections are created as vessels to translate beauty from designer to viewer. Galli's body of work acts in the same way. her slip cast lines are categorized as RTW, or ready-to-wear
– accessible pieces intended for mass consumption. Her couture collections, much like their fashion industry counterparts, are one-of-a-kind, unique forms, thrown and altered off the wheel.
In both, movement is communicated between individual pieces, almost as if they were strutting down a runway. And while the form of her pieces remain abstract and simple, attention is consistently diverted toward the beauty of surface design – much like the fashion she so much admires.
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