Georgia Blizzard

 

BLIZZARD, GEORGIA
(1919–2002)
was a sculptor of clay who came from an American family with roots in three diverse cultures: Apache, Irish, and Appalachian. When Blizzard was a child, she wastaught traditional Native American firing techniques by her father. She made clay toys with one of her sisters, Lucy May, and “fired” them in the sun. As young women,the two sisters made fake Native American relics, such as pots and pipes, and sold them as authentic items. Returning to ceramic making as an adult, Blizzard created awide array of non-utilitarian sculptural vessels. Using both a coal kiln for colorful surfaces and an electric kiln to prevent breakage, the artist continued to retrieve her clay from the creek behind her home. Her vessels were typically nonfunctional, even if created in the form of a vase or a pitcher; in Blizzard’s hand a pitcher became acrouching woman or a reclining man. A respect for nature and God as well as a “can-do” approach to living consumed Blizzard’s life and art. Born in Statesville, Virginia, Blizzard attended public school through the eighth grade, married at the age of twenty-one, and was widowed fourteen years later. Theartist worked in a factory and textile plant before turning to ceramics full-time. Her daughter, Mary, opened a shop, providing an opportunity for the artist to share her clay sculpture with the public. Throughout her life, Blizzard witnessed her experimental approach to clay become a vital source of economic support, which created asense of purpose for the artist.
See also
Native American Folk Art; Pottery, Folk;

Sculpture, Folk
.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Hill-Burwell, Debra. “Georgia Blizzard: Virginia’s Visionary Vessel Marker.”
Voices,
vol. 4 (1995).Williams, Jonathan.
Georgia Blizzard: Cleansing Vessels.
WinstonSalem, N.C., 1996.