Lindsey M. Dillon | Ceramic Artist
Bailarín Cellars celebrates those who do what they love. Their passion for life is unstoppable and their enthusiasm is infectious. We celebrate these heroes and learn from their words of wisdom as we chase our own pursuits.
This month we celebrate Lindsey M. Dillon, a talented local ceramic artist who uses the lens of the imaginary to tell stories about human experiences. Lindsey was honored with the 2018 Emerging Artist Award from the Sacramento Region Arts & Business Council and the Expression of Excellent Award in 2017 at the Northern California Arts Inc. Bold Expressions exhibition. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout California and locally, including the mugs and platters at our downtown Sacramento Tasting Room.
What Makes You Dance?
“Exploring the relationship between what is and what could be”
I can say with some certainty that watching Jurassic Park at age four set me towards being an artist. Ever since I saw those velociraptors stalk through that kitchen, I’ve been fascinated with what could exist beyond the world we experience day-to-day. A love of dinosaurs led to a love of history, then to a love of mythology, fantasy, and science fiction.
These fields draw me in to this day not only because of the power of story, but also because, to me, they embody the essence of being human: using reality to create the imagined. We exist in the present, are entwined with the past, and shape our lives and the world based on what we can imagine could be. We dance between the mundane and extraordinary, between stasis and progress, between celebrating the present and striving towards the future, and time plunges us forward no matter which partners we favor. Exploring that nuanced relationship between what is and what could be is fundamental to who I am, how I approach my work as an artist, and what makes me feel alive.
One aspect of that relationship is no clearer than when I open my kiln after a final firing. Mugs or bowls or maybe a sculpture peer out from the dark interior, sticky mud and chalky minerals turned into stone-like forms and glass-like glazes by the magic of heat and chemistry. In this moment, each piece feels precious, representing the thousands of hours it took for me to develop the skill and creativity to bring it into existence; it also feels insignificant, a mere brick in the road of a vast ceramic history that spans thousands of years. As I turn each piece over in my hands, there is as much satisfaction and relief that it has survived its creation as there is a drive and curiosity to make the next one better or to experiment with something new.
Whether I’m making a mug or a sculpture, working in clay feels like engaging in the most rewarding part of being human: savoring progress with an eye towards the future, using what’s in front of me as a guide to what could be.
Through my work, I hope to invite others to do the same.