December 10 marked the opening of Deborah Slahta’s “Raku and Stoneware Ceramics” exhibition in The Romano Gallery. The Hellertown, Pennsylvania, native explores the vessel as a three-dimensional canvas, creating finely crafted Raku and stoneware ceramics with geometric constructions and patterned motifs on their surfaces. Ms. Slahta joined the Blair community at an artist’s reception on December 13, and her work will remain on display through January 12, 2019.
Known for her precise designs, Ms. Slahta underscores the spectacular nature of the Raku experience in her work, where colors sometimes develop and disappear in a split second. Because the firing is extreme, and, at times, uncontrollable, Ms. Slahta embraces the magic of smoke permeating the clay body and creating one-of-kind colors and designs, each step constituting a moment flash-frozen in time.
Ms. Slahta’s lifelong passion for clay began during her undergraduate days as a mathematics major at Moravian College. She has been a juried resident at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Banana Factory since 2000, where she teaches ceramics classes for adults, summer camps for children and participates in after-school programs for at-risk youth. Her work has been exhibited in national and regional shows, including “PA Craft” at the State Museum in Harrisburg and “Area Artists 2017” at Lehigh University.