patterns of bark or lichen or drops of rain. Edges wisp away in lacy fine frills.

Scarpa then uses artist oils to paint these abstract interpretations. She has worked with acrylics to color past works, and experimented with varied ceramic glazing techniques, but the use of oils introduces a new dimension to her work.

Once saturated with these layers of shading and hue, Scarpa intertwines the separate ele-ments; a cadmium yellow frilled basin, bursting with seeds, is
wrapped in a cloak of midnight black, encircled in crimson folds; a coil of deepest violet nests within a womb of pale green, while emerald, coral and garnet waves billow out from this core.  Scarpa describes these works as paintings in clay. “Always I wanted to paint, but the square of the canvas confined me,” she says. “Here I can break out.”

The texture of the porcelain, the organic shapes, the luminous hues of the oils,  

from its boundaries, riotous, saturated Kodachrome, blooming triumphantly.

”All summer long, I was watching the colors of the flowers of my garden,” says Scarpa. “Orange and yellow and
red would come out of nowhere, and it took for my eyes to go back many times to find a balance in this cosmos.”

The major components of these pieces are begun on the wheel. But they soon abandon any constraints of everyday function. Shapes move with the free-form folds and undulations of swaying petals, breaking waves, windblown clouds. Surfaces are meticulously sandblasted to a liquid luster, brushed to fine filaments, speckled with the


“Painting with oils was a long process, but I could achieve transparencies and a density that I could never find with acrylics,” says Scarpa. "And the oils are unique in the wonderful way they bind with the clay.”

She describes this pro-cess of distilling what she sees as she moves about her gardens — feeding her goats, tending toma-toes, feeling the thrum of bees in the yellow-rose arbor — as "thinking and smelling in color.”