Drawing on her background as a painter, sculptor, printmaker and clayer, Diana Fayt’s surfaces are alive with strange and exotic stories, part folklore and part personal narrative. She is a modern day scrimshander, whose chosen medium is clay rather than whalebone.
Through her signature process of etching in clay, the shadows of birds and rabbits come alive to play in forests of intricately rendered botanical specimens, exotic sea creatures lurking below antique sailing vessels, primitive markings that allude to atomic structures and everyday objects that blur the lines between form and function.
Fayt was born the daughter of Hungarian immigrants in sunny Los Angeles, CA. When she began her travels around the globe, scouring foreign territories with the natural wanderlust of a gypsy and the soul of a magpie, she collected trinkets and stories from each new place she ventured. These treasures make up the palette from which she creates her body of work, each piece a travelogue of the human spirit, carved out of the earth to be viewed through the unique lenses of each observer’s personal history.
In 1994 Diana developed a process which she refers to as, “etching in clay”, mimicking traditional drypoint etching processes used in printmaking but with a twist, she employ’s the use of clay, underglazes, stains and glaze instead of zinc, paper and ink, treating her ceramic surfaces as the actual etching plate. Layers and layers of color are laid down, readying it for the etching process.
Using an array of different tools, she carefully incises lines of different depths and widths, into the surface of each piece, to create movement and a line quality all her own. All of her drawings are original and done freehand, with the addition of her signature graphic markings, radiating shapes and random scratches. Each piece is individually hand-built or slipcast with the use of molds that Diana makes herself.
Diana’s work can be found in both public and private art collections in the United States and abroad. She has been featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly as well as in numerous Japanese, Australian and American Publications, such as Zakka, Lee, Mademoiselle (Japan), The Journal of Australian Ceramics, American Craft, Sunset Magazine, San Francisco 7×7, “Encore! The New Artisans, Part Two” (Thames and Hudson publications) and “Crafting a Meaningful Home” (STC craft publications).
When she is not working in her studio, Diana can be found teaching technique and inspiring creativity in workshops around the world at destinations such as, Clay Push Festival, Australia, Santa Fe Clay, Arrowmont School of Crafts and Metchosin School of the Arts and via her self-created online e-courses, The Clayer. A graduate of the California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts), she currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon with her partner and sweet pooch named Louie.