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Mitra Mahmoodi is a full-time ceramic artist based in Vancouver, whose work is informed by an investigation of her Middle Eastern and Islamic heritage and ongoing engagement with the landscape, architecture, languages, and wisdom of that part of the world.

She began working with clay in her late twenties at a community center as a hobby. However, soon after, her love for clay became so serious that she quit her job and her background in economics and commenced her career as a ceramist instead. Mitra received her diploma in Ceramic Design from the University of Arts London, Uk, and her BFA from the Emily Carr University of Arts and Design in 2021.

Her work has been exhibited at group shows at Centre A, Richmond Art Gallery, Medalta, the historic clay district in Medicine Hat, Alberta, the Pangolin London, Ceramic Art London, Central Saint Martins, and Te Wedgwood Museum in the UK.

 

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Process

My goal with the forms I am creating is to convey movement, generosity, and softness. The surfaces on the works are a subtle and complex tangle of floral motifs combined with textures inspired by adobe houses to enrich the surface. Once the pot is air dried, it is coated with a red clay casting slip to make the texture as the background and then decorated with slip trailing techniques as motifs of foreground, aiming to depict depth and movement.

 

After the first firing, I apply the glazes using different techniques inside and outside, I then spray a few unique glazes which I formulated myself to grow small micro-crystals in the kiln. The heat from the electric kiln as well as slow cooling adds a layer of ‘sugar’ or micro-crystals, aiding in the uniqueness of each pot. I also welcome happenstance and embrace the power of the heat as it transforms wet earth into ceramic. 

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