Claire grew up in the Chicago land area. Growing up 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, 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 search for more. I was heavily influenced by both my father, an architect, and my grandmother, who made Faberge eggs. I grew up in a strict catholic household and struggled from a very early age with faith. I was told god was in the church, but always felt out of place there. I believe that the ocean is the closest place I feel that draw. Using small detailed pieces, the work demands the viewer to come closer and inspect the object on a personal level. I hope to evoke the sense of awe that so many cathedrals strive for, use the imagery I have found in the natural world to elevate their importance and utilize the architectural elements found in many of the catholic churches to further that vision.
– Claire McCauley