Laura Demme

Ceramics & Sculpture

Artist's Biography

As an artist working in various media, Laura Demme’s art education began early as the daughter of an artist. Drawing, painting and sewing from the age of six, Laura continued her study through high school, then a year living at Peters Valley Craft School. Laura studied with textile artist Janet Lipkin, Otto Milan and several other resident artists. Originally drawn to weaving, spinning and dyeing, Laura realized the versatility of “ Off the Loom” techniques such as crocheting, knitting and embroidery. With Janet’s help Laura showed in galleries like Julies Artisans Gallery, The American Craft Museum and nationally. Taking one year to travel to Europe, Africa and California before a two year stint of study at Ridgewood School of Art, Ridgewood, N.J. Laura studied painting, drawing, 2 and 3D design. She taught Creative Crochet and “Off the Loom” Workshops from her Studio .Upon completing her second year, Laura traveled to Mexico and Central America.

Moving to New Hampshire to help renovate a house with her Mom, Laura worked in “One of a Kind Clothing”, creating outfits for Cher, Elton John, John Denver and other collectors.Shows at The American Craft Council at Rheinbeck, N.Y., Sans Regret Gallery, Boston and The Works Gallery, Philadelphia. Moving to NYC, Laura worked as a Crafts Designer and Assistant Editor at Good Housekeeping Magazine and contributed designs to Voque Knitting, Needlework, and other publications.

As a Free Lance Designer for 14 Years in NYC, Laura worked with design houses contributing unique knit designs and inspiration to Geoffrey Beene, Ralph Lauren, Staley Gretsinger, Stanley Blacker, Susan Bristol, Stacey Charles Yarns, and many others. Laura started painting, sharing a studio with friend Karen Lukas. Laura’s work in oil on canvas and gessoed paper showed at a few invitationals in NYC and Art Shows in Atlanta and Rice University in Texas.After stints designing and manufacturing knits, Laura worked as Head Designer for a Private Label Company manufacturing in Hong Kong and Central America.

With the changing Textile Industry, Laura retired, married, gave birth to a daughter and took up Ceramics. Working with the marvelous Community Art Centers of Greater Philadelphia, Laura studied with many artists like Sandi Pierentozzi, Neil Paterson, Mitch Lyons, Syd Carpenter, Emily Paulmier, Shari Sikora, and Brett Thomas. Concentrating on Raku Firing and other Low Fire techniques, Laura uses her mixed media sensibility to create Mixed Media figures, Vignettes, Sculpture and many other decorative pieces. Her continued exploration of technique and media include concrete, metal work (jewelry and steel welding), encaustic and acrylic abstract painting and gardening.When ever she needs to know about something, Ms. Demme researches and studies with whomever is the definitive person. Laura Demme is a juried member of the PA Guild of Craftsmen and a Potters Guild Member. She teaches Raku Firing, Hand Building and Encaustic Painting at Community Arts Center.

"I look forward to integrating all that I have learned and experienced into my artwork, to fully express what it is to be an artist, and to inspire others to explore and expand their horizons.”

Artist's Statement

I am a restless Person by nature, very curious about many things. I read constantly and have many interests. My Education in Art is a lifelong endeavor. I feel that I learn differently from others, so have followed my intuition as far as educating myself is concerned. My family encouraged me as an individual, to develop as I would, to follow my heart, doing what I loved. Each piece of information, would inform the next piece.

Studying varied Mediums and Techniques with an equally varied number of talented Artists, who on their own journey, have shared their knowledge and inspiration with me. I am grateful for their generosity. I hope to inspire my students with the same spirit, an ongoing search for knowledge and experience. And hope that they will, in turn, share with others.

My current work in Clay is figurative, leaning toward abstraction. I incorporate some found objects and metals into my pieces as I find this adds dimension and meaning to my work. The inclusion of mixed media opens the door to new ideas and techniques applied to a clay surface, like encaustic and alternative firings. I have begun to work with wood firing and porcelain, along with other high fire processes, like salt and soda. I enjoy meaningful complexity and see my work going in that direction.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2013
Then and Now, Town Hall, Swarthmore, PA

Group
2016
Breath of Fire Ceramics Invitational, Trenton Museum Society, Trenton, NJ

2015
Vitra Five, Benefit Show
Bowls and Spoons for Electric Kiln Students in Nairobi

Elusive Solutions, Great Valley Penn State Gallery, Malvern, PA

2014
Craft Forms, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

Abstract Painting Studio Show, Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA

2013
Residents Show, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA
Raku Fired and Mixed Media Sculpture

2012
Haverford Craft Guild Holiday Show, Haverford, PA

2011
Three Dimensions Show, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

2010
The Raku Accord, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Philadelphia Chapter, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

2003 - 2016
Yearly Members and Holiday Shows, Potters Guild, Wallingford, PA

2000 - 2013
Raku Fired Ceramics, PA Guild of Craftsmen Juried Member, Wilmington, De and Lancaster, PA

2000
Ceramic Masks, The Station Gallery, Greensville, DE

1999
Mixed Media Figures, Santa Fe Figurative Art International, Santa Fe, NM

1998
Mixed Media Figures, ACC Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

1997
Raku, The Vessel Gallery, Bryn Athen, PA

1973 - 1978
Produced One of a Kind Wearable Art and Soft Sculpture

Baroque Show, American Crafts Museum, New York, NY

Julie’s Artisans Gallery, New York, NY

A Show of Hands Gallery, Willamette, IL

ACC Shows, Rhinebeck, NY

One Person Show, One of a Kind Gallery, Boston, MA

Three Textile Artists, The Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Experience

1994 - 2016
Freelance Design, Karen Singer Architectural Donor Walls and Murals, Philadelphia, PA

Teacher, Whitemarsh Art Center, Whitemarsh, PA
Majolica, Watercolor, Drawing, Kids Art

Teacher, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA
Decorative Painting, Doll Making, Sculptural Crochet, Handbuilding, Raku Firing

Teacher, Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA
Handbuiding, Majolica, Raku Firing, Encaustic Painting, Concrete Sculpture

Teacher, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Raku Firing and Handbuilding, Concrete Sculpture

Teacher, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA
Advanced Hand Building and Raku Firing, Encaustic Collage Workshops

Private Workshops
Concrete Sculpture, Doll Making and Encaustic Painting

1975 - 1993
Craft Designer and Assistant Editor, Good Housekeeping Magazine, New York, NY

National Sales Representative and Instructor, Passap/Superba Knitting Machines
Taught Seminars Nationally

Freelance Knitwear Designer, Fashion Houses, Manufacturers, New York, NY

Adjunct Professor, Knitwear, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Philadelphia, PA

Residencies

2012 - 2013
Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA
Ceramic Artist – Body of Sculptural Work, Raku Fired with Mixed Media, Drawings and Sculptural Crochet

2011
Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA
Summer residency - Concrete and Ceramic Mosaic inlaid tiles bench with summer camp children

2010
After School Art Clubs, Springfield, PA
Created Found Object and Cast Concrete bug sculptures with children for installation in Sculpture Garden
Jeannie Tourscher, Art Teacher

Sadow Elementary School, Springfield, PA
Created Cast Concrete and Mosiac sculptural installation with 5th grade classes
Jeannie Tourscher, Art Teacher

1993
Whitemarsh Art Center, Whitemarsh, PA
Facilitator, Intergenerational Clay Installation Project
Clay Books with Clay Artist Karen Singer

Education

1971 - 1976
Peters Valley Crafts School and Community, Layton, NJ
Woodworking, Ceramics, Textiles

Ridgewood School of Art, Ridgewood , NJ
Painting, Drawing, 2D Design, 3D Design, Art History, Printmaking

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA
Drawing

New York Art Students League, New York, NY
Drawing

Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY
Pattern Making, Fashion Illustration

Ongoing
Workshops with Sandi Pierentozzi, Neal Patterson, Brett Thomas, Lisa Claque, Nell Hazinski, Jeanie Silver, Shari Sikora, Barbara Hanselman, Bob Deane, Lisa Naples, Emily Paulmier, Jennifer Martin, Jack Troy, Kevin Snipes, Laura Jean MacLaughlin