Clay Studio Tour

Darla Graff Thompson

First test:  Album Display

8 photo(s) Updated on: 08 Jan 2024
  • afraid of the dark: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 13 x 7 x 8
  • blessing, sent ahead: hand-built, hand-painted with acrylics, 11.5 x 7.5 x 7
  • forty days and forty nights: hand-built, crystal glaze, 11.5 x 7 x 7
  • frustration and floundering: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 14 x 15 x 7
  • rattled: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 13 x 7.5 x 8
  • survival instinct: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 13 x 8.5 x 7.5
  • tiresias and the ravens: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 14 x 9 x 9
  • turbulence: hand-built, low-fire glaze, 11.5 x 7 x 7

Artist Statement

Darla Graf Thompson, Los Alamos, New Mexico

I began sculpting in the early 1980s as a high school student and continued creating with clay through college and as I pursued a doctorate in chemistry, providing my life with much-needed stress relief and balance. During my career in science, I never stopped sculpting.  Mostly I sculpt bizarre and exaggerated heads, let’s call them “modern cartoon gargoyles.” They are condensed thoughts or emotions that span a wide range of topics. In them I see hints of my scientific nature, the faces of old friends, a lot of humor, and solid evidence of life’s varied experience.

I have taken many ceramics classes over the years that have influenced my sculpting practice.  My creations are hand-built and one-of-a-kind. For some years, I hand-painted my fired pieces with acrylics, but currently I use mostly bright, low-fire glazes and often fire pieces multiple times for the desired effect.  Many of my sculptures have rhyming poems written for them to enhance their personal meaning. I’ve published two books of the sculpture/poem combinations (available on Amazon). 

I live in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where there is a fantastic underground art community that I am honored to be a part of. I take great delight in the magic of clay. Clay is patient and pliable, willingly receives our slightest intentions, and quickly forgives our greatest mistakes. Then, baptized in fire, it holds firm witness to our time, our place, and our energy. I have not found anything else that can do that.

Contact Information

Los Alamos, NM

Email:  fiddleheadNM@aol.com

Website: FiddleheadNM.weebly.com

Two sculpture/poetry books are available on Amazon.com

erratic, ecstatic, et cetera published in 2009

viscous drag published in 2014


Los Alamos, New Mexico, Santa Fe and area, sculpture, ceramics, heads, gargoyles, hand-built,

Exaggerated, bizarre, animated, clay, expressive, brightly-colored, artist, sculptor, figurative, humorous, Jungian, symbolic

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