Cloverdale artist Joe Hawley is back in the plaza this year with an imposing new work, “AZ Twister”. Inspiration for “AZ Twister” came from the sight of a dust devil twisting its way across the Arizona landscape. These rhythmic spirals, created by forces of the wind and dust, struck a chord with Hawley. By raking up the side of a rotating wet clay cylinder, a spiraling dynamic transformed a static element into an enduring twister. The resulting form of “AZ Twister” can be seen as a metaphor for the turbulence of our times, or indeed as the rhythm of life itself.
The 1800 lb terra cotta sculpture was created at the Mission Clay Company’s Phoenix Arizona facility.
Hawley was one of several well-known ceramic artists invited to work in collaboration with the Mission Clay to produce a series of experimental sculptures. The art and industry workshop was coordinated by Brian Vansell, artistic director of Mission Clay, and was a feature exhibit of the 2009 Conference on Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Hawley first worked with Mission Clay back in the 1970s at their Freemont California facility.
Hawley has been a professor of ceramic art at San Francisco State University for over 30 years. He has exhibited his work in ceramics and glass throughout the United States, and in Italy. He has won numerous awards, and his work is held in several museum collections.