Shasta is a woodfire ceramic artist currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Originally from Washington state, she spent many of her early years exploring the outdoors. Her interest in biology and her surroundings continues to influence her work. Whether working in the studio, hiking a trail or cooking in the kitchen, she is eager to create and share a new experience with those around her. Shasta earned her MFA from Utah State University in Logan, Utah in 2015. Shasta has worked with schools and arts organizations in Utah, California, Tennessee, Virginia, Oregon and abroad. Shasta is currently the ceramics studio manager and instructor at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah.
I am a maker; rolling, pinching, and pressing the clay to explore the subtle asymmetry and structure of a form. In working with both coil and slabs, I use defined lines balanced with my touch to create dynamic forms. Cellular structures of plants and the odd brief glimpse of a great accumulation of similar objects inspire the repeated shapes and patterns. I gravitate to small details that when compiled together begin to create a larger composition; the marks are subtle and hopefully discovered by thorough inspection. Rigid structure balanced with the seemingly spontaneous especially draws my attention, such as cells, the systems they compose, and the organism they create. I am interested in the calculated and the casual as seen in the building up of units. I am fascinated with the tactility of clay; my touch becomes the narrative of the form, unit by unit shaping the object. Like the calculated and intuitive nature of the wood firing process, these units create a structure that is not figured to fine measurements. Imagine the cook who diligently weighs each gram and levels each scoop versus the one who measures in dollops and globs. Wood firing is a calculated and strategic process embedded with the spontaneity of the many variables and uncontrollable elements. Within this process I adapt and problem solve, which is also reflected in the search for patterns within the rhythm of repeated units. The patterns I find lead to conclusions shaping my actions and directing my thoughts.