Clay dominates one-woman show at Shooting Star Gallery

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clay artist Janet Drew has several works on display at the Shooting Star Gallery through Dec. 31. Drew majored in painting in college, but gravitated toward clay art later in her career. At left is some of her most recent work, which involves making her own wood frames and then working inside them.

Janet Drew never intended to be a clay artist.

The Suffolk resident majored in painting in college and began teaching at a Massachusetts school after graduation.

“I didn’t have much experience with clay,” she said. “The art director in the town I was in brought a kiln for my school, and I realized, ‘Yikes, I don’t know how to use this thing.’”

Email newsletter signup

Drew took a few classes in clay, and soon she loved it. Some of her work is on display at the Shooting Star Gallery through Dec. 31.

“I haven’t done ceramics in a while, and her work is very strong in that area,” said Brenda Wright, owner of the Shooting Star Gallery.

When Drew initially began working with clay, she started with sculptures of animals. She enjoyed hand-building her forms.

She then moved into a stage where she did all her work in boxes, she said.

“The whole box thing started with found boxes like cigar boxes, already-made, that I might find in a thrift shop,” she said. “As I was doing assemblages and collages in the boxes, every time I would do one, I would be wishing that the box was a different size, so I just started making my own boxes.”

After she started making everything, she found she had more control over her art, she said.

“I could say what I wanted to say more easily,” Drew said.

Much of Drew’s work takes the form of repetitions with slight variations.

“I have always been attracted to pattern and repeated forms,” Drew said.

Some of her most recent works includes wood-frame boxes with mixed-media forms inside.

Drew does most of her work in a portion of her garage she converted to a studio. She finds the most difficult part of each piece is actually starting on it.

“I find once I get out there and start that it kind of rolls along,” she said. “It gives me an idea for the next piece. If I just get out there and work, more ideas come. I can’t get the idea just sitting in a chair thinking.”

Wright has cleaned her gallery of much of its normal commercial stock to give the show a cleaner look for the opening reception, which is scheduled for Saturday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. After the opening, however, “we will go into full Christmas mode,” Wright said.

The Shooting Star Gallery is located at 118 N. Main St. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. The Drew show is on display through Dec. 31. For more information, visit or call 934-0855.