Artist Spotlight: Gerbi Tsesarskaia
Tsesarskaia began working as an artist and an art teacher in 1994. She also joined the Ceramic League of Miami that same year. At the CLM, she first took and later taught courses in wheel throwing. In 2002 she was accepted to the graduate program at Florida Atlantic University and graduated with an M.F.A. in ceramics in 2005. After a brief teaching period at FAU, she moved her studio to the Bakehouse Art Complex, where she currently works as an independent artist.
From August 2009, she has been teaching ceramics courses at the University of Miami and Miami International University of Art and Design as an adjunct instructor. Tsesarskaia has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, including two world competitions in Korea and Rumania. Her work has been included in many private and two museum collections in Korea and Romania.
Tsesarskaia strives to find new ways of expressing herself through the medium she loves. She looks for new forms, new colors, new concepts, all challenging herself to stretch the boundaries known and venture into new territories. Her medium is porcelain. Tsesarskaia is attracted to the purity, whiteness, malleability, translucency, and great strength of porcelain.
Tsesarskaia starts the process of making her work on the potter's wheel, she then alters it by cutting, darting, slicing, removing, and adding until the work emerges in a form that speaks to her. Finished pieces are fired in the raw then glazed and fired again in a gas reduction kiln for about 24/30 hours. The outcome of the firing process is certain only to a degree. Atmospheric firing brings a lot of surprises to the surfaces of the work, some welcomed some puzzling, the path for future explorations. Her work keeps constantly evolving as she herself does.
Tsesarskaia’s education in Mechanical Engineering, helps her to structure her work and build in a way that is structurally logical and sustainable. She is inspired by the interaction of Nature and the creative human spirit. Anything that moves Tsesarskaia finds its expression in porcelain forms.
The abandonment of functionality in sculptural forms Tsesarskaia makes, gifted her with the freedom to treat her work as the pure abstract manifestation of life experiences she goes through, it allowed her to identify with the forms she creates or to inhabit them, so to speak. In essence, Tsesarskaia’s intention is to breathe life into a man-made object, to animate it by giving it an appearance of a creature blending naturally into any environment, be it a home, a seashore, a forest, or a riverbank. Tsesarskaia’s work is a comment on the beauty of life itself and its sustaining power. She hopes that her work will enhance the experience of beauty in people's mundane existence and beyond.