Claire grew up in the Chicago land area. She spent a lot of time using air dry clay to make small models, and countless hours drawing. She received her BFA in Illustration from Northern Illinois University. While at NIU, she took several ceramic classes and found a passion for the medium. Following graduation, after a year in Madison Wisconsin, she spent several years in Chicago at Lillstreet Art Center where she began to lay the foundation for a ceramic career, she is currently an Artist in Residence at the Morean Center for Clay in Saint Petersburg Florida. She has shown her work across the United States at The Clay Studio of Missoula, In Tandem Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, and The Clay Studio Philadelphia among others.
Using clay I create narratives that are the reactions I have to loss, the desire for connection, and the struggle I have with my own mental health. Inspired by flora and the natural world, I utilize intricate and repetitive textures to represent all of the monumental emotions felt. The scale of my work invites the viewer to come closer and inspect the object on a personal level. Anxiety, stress, and intrusive thoughts are represented in the repeating textures, but also act as adornment for the piece. It is the way I have adapted and learned to grow with these parts of myself, I don’t try to shut them out completely, but I see them as part of me. I use clay as my preferred medium due to the tactility of it. I have always been drawn to unique textures; seeking out tactile sensory experiences has always helped me to feel grounded.
– Claire McCauley