Christine Sirko

Heron Crest Studios
3100 Mount Rd, Aston PA
856-381-8427

Message from artist

Christine Sirko is a Pennsylvania based ceramic artist, museum professional, and teacher. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Museum Professions and a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. Christine's sculptural sea forms and functional pottery incorporates the images of the sea and sailor's body art, inspired by her years with the San Diego Maritime Museum. Christine joined the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and is a member of the New Jersey Potters Guild and exhibits her work at various venues throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Memberships

American Alliance of Museums, Washington, DC.
Community Art Center, Wallingford, PA.
National Council of Education in the Ceramic Arts.
Potters Guild of New Jersey.

Exhibitions

Palisades Community Center, Palisades, New York. Wind-chimes.
Westhampton Arts and Crafts Show. Westhampton, Long Island, New York. Functional tableware.
Alice Gerard Show and Sale, Palisades, New York. Cups with handles, Casserole dishes.
Audubon Society, Westhampton, Long Island, New York. Birdhouses, bird-feeders.
Community Presbyterian Church, Mountainside, New Jersey.
Gloucester County Library, Logan Township, New Jersey.

About Me

Rockland Foundation for the Arts in West Nyack, New York with Judy Slane was my first meaningful experience with pottery making. It was a hand-made lidded jar with dark clay and white slip carving. I was hooked! Rockland Community College invited three local women to talk about their careers in art. One of the women was an Art Therapist, another was an Art Educator and the last was a Ceramic Artist. I applied for the two-year Apprenticeship offered by the Ceramic Artist, Sylvia March.

As an apprentice I learned how to make glazes, throw off the hump, fire a kiln, order materials, and keep a studio in an efficient and safe order. I soon had my own studio and began to teach children how to make coil, slab, and pinch pots. An after-school Cultural Enrichment program at the Tappan Zee Elementary School gave me the opportunity to teach pottery classes.

The Old Church Cultural Center, Demarest, New Jersey attracts a well-known group of potters. I studied with Mikhail Zakin and learned about Decorative Arts both hand-made and thrown, and Raku firing. Summer classes consisted of exploring new techniques at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC with Robert Forbes. He gave handouts of all his glaze formulas for Earthenware clay with Slip decoration. Parsons School of Design in NYC challenged me to paint.

After moving to San Diego California and working full-time at the San Diego Maritime Museum I decided to take some classes at the University of California in La Jolla with Paul Linsley who was teaching what he called, “Aquatic Sculptures”. They were also Raku fired. Kita Ceramics was within walking distance of where I lived in San Diego, Yo ran a pottery studio and taught me how to work with porcelain. Living so close to a Spanish culture, I completed a Spanish Language Study in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Previously, at the Community Art Center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania I studied with Bob Deane and Carol Seymour on the wheel. I refined my throwing skills and explored glazes fired in gas, electric, and Raku kilns. I made altered seashells, functional and non-functional porcelain tableware and decorative pieces for the home. I set up my own studio in Aston, Pennsylvania in July 2016.

At the College of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey I received a Bachelor of Arts Elementary Education, and Art Education. I am certified to teach. I demonstrated how to throw on a standing kick wheel and how to trim a piece for my college class. Peter’s Valley in Layton, New Jersey offered a workshop in “how to make an altered teapot” I took the workshop. At the Senior Class Art Show I exhibited my paintings and Ceramic Arts. After a wonderful summer in Cavalese, Italy I enrolled at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey committed to Art Education and began my course work first in Education and then for the Master of Arts program in Museum Professions.

My studies included a summer session in Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I researched the Colonial Arts tradition of the artists and understood the beauty in their work. They used twisted cottonwood roots to form their figures of Saints in their art form. Many of the artists learn this tradition, which was passed down, from earlier generations.

Teaching full-time while attending classes at night I studied Art and Archaeology. It was during my third semester in the Program that I became fascinated with Archaeology. We looked at the pottery shards and studied the figures and history of Sumerian Culture, Egyptology, and Iron Age artifacts. Seton Hall University and the Department of Antiquities in Jordon put together an archaeological expedition to Safut, Jordan and I was there. It was an Iron Age Site.

This background has given me a knowledge base in education, art, ceramic arts and museum studies. I have enjoyed the journey and have embarked on a new business to create a vision of the Sea in Clay. My Seashells look as though they were formed by the waves. My wind chimes are waves in themselves. Each piece of functional porcelain tableware is either emblazoned with the sailors tattoo art or colorful movements of the ocean across dinner plates and vases.