2017 DUMA Biennial artist, Richard Hess

Just About Perfect
Richard Hess, Galena, Illinois
Just About Perfect, 2016, clay, 17x15x3

I don’t draw or paint and not one person ever pointed to me and said, “He’s going to grow up to be an artist.” In spite of that, I was drawn to the idea of working with clay from a very young age. I believe I was attracted to the possibilities that clay offered and it’s forgiving nature.

My early years with clay were spent trying to find my place and the wheel had great appeal. I found working on the wheel was too disciplined and was not where I wanted to focus. Hand-building was a different experience and I soon found my passion with slabs of clay. I started my clay work building architectural structures and through the years I have experimented with many different forms.

I have been working in clay now for over 30 years. It was in the last 15 years that I began hand-building horses. I have not had a lifetime of loving horses but admit to an awe of their majesty, elegance and power. It has been a challenge both technically and conceptually to capture the horse’s essence. I have focused my work in recent years on translating all that the horse represents into my clay pieces. I feel fortunate to have found my passion in clay and look forward to each new project.