Location: Vancouver, BC
Member Since: 1976
Debra Sloan was born in Nelson, BC but raised in Vancouver. She started working in clay as a self-taught artist in 1973 before attending Emily Carr University of Art and Design, earning her BFA in 2004.
Debra works with the imagery of women, men, babies, and dogs – all domestic icons. She uses these images to describe or illustrate something – a state of mind, a play-on-words, a situation, or a thought – using earthenware and mid-temperature red and white clays. Debra pays a lot of attention to detail, using her own sigillatas, or coloured slips, to enhance the carved surfaces.
Some of her work ‘functions’ as jugs or vases, while other pieces are declarative, one-of-a-kind sculptural objects. She has exhibited internationally, with collections of her work found as far as Hungary and Romania.
In addition to her creative work, Debra is very active in the ceramic community. She has published articles, presented widely at international symposia and has also been teaching clay sculpture at the Shadbolt Centre since 1991.
Debra has always worked from home, allowing her to balance her ceramic career with raising her four children.
“The intent of my practice is to observe, with a sideways glance, the most familiar figures around us, nudging the observer to see them in a different context.”