Location: Nevada City, California
Interview dates: August 6, 2015
Interview clips and notes are available here.
Diana Fayt is a modern day scrimshander, whose chosen medium is clay rather than whalebone. Drawing on her background as a painter, sculptor, printmaker and clayer, her surfaces are alive with strange and exotic stories, part folklore and part personal narrative Fayt’s intricate tales speak as much of her of her Hungarian lineage as they do of her fascination with the natural world around her. Through her signature process of etching in clay, the shadows of birds and rabbits come alive to play in forests of intricately rendered botanical specimens, exotic sea creatures lurk below antique sailing vessels, primitive marking allude to atomic structures and everyday objects blur the lines between form and function.
Fayt was born the daughter of Hungarian immigrants in sunny Los Angeles, CA and shortly thereafter migrated north where she grew up running wild amongst cherry orchards, Eichler houses and silicon chips. Not long after, she began her travels around the globe, scouring foreign territories with the natural wanderlust of a gypsy and the soul of a magpie, collecting trinkets and stories from each new place she has ventured.
These found treasures make up the palatte from which she creates a body of work somehow devoid of any discernible time or place, not quite modern or antiquity. Rather, each piece is a travelogue of the human spirit, carved out of the earth to be viewed through the unique lenses of each observer’s personal history.
Fayt’s work can be found in myriad of public and private art collections both in the United States and abroad. She has been featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly as well as in numerous Japanese, Australian and American Publications, such as Zakka, Lee, Mademoiselle(Japan), The Journal of Australian Ceramics, American Craft, Sunset Magazine, San Francisco 7x7, "Encore! The New Artisans, Part Two" (Thames and Hudson publications) and "Crafting a Meaningful Home" (STC craft publications).
When she is not working in her studio, she can be found teaching technique and inspiring creativity in workshops around the world at destinations such as, Clay Push Festival, Australia, Santa Fe Clay, Arrowmont School of Crafts and Metchosin School of the Arts and via her self-created online e-course, The Clayer. A graduate of the California College of the Arts(formerly California College of Arts and Crafts), she currently lives and works in the Sierra Nevada, Foothills of California with a sweet pooch named Louie and an ever growing collection of fine art and found ephemera