# Arts in Milwaukee – Janelle Gramling – art, design
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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Lattice”Lattice

    Stoneware, porcelain, linen, driftwood. 34x24x2 inches

Janelle Gramling

  • Art
  • Design
I am an Art Professional I am a Design Professional

artist bio

Janelle Gramling has been a sculptor with a full-time studio practice in Milwaukee, WI for over 15 years. Her work ranges from fine art to functional home goods and wearables with a main focus in ceramics and fiber. In all mediums she practices, Gramling is self-taught having developed her skills over the years without a formal arts degree through autodidactic discovery and community resources. She is a Milwaukee native and her home and studio are both in the Clarke Square neighborhood on Milwaukee’s south side. She enjoys gardening, bicycling, photography, and restoring her historic home where she lives with her partner, Matthew, and their four children.

artist statement

My current sculptural work often uses gravity as an important element in the form. Pieces are designed to be placed on a wall, usually by one singular hanging point, activating my intended drape and balance. Each piece is designed in an interesting play between my calculated engineering within gravity’s constraint and my intuitive, expressive impulses. Forms that are mathematical and perfect in concept, become flawed, natural, and human when brought to life in real materials. Geometric shapes are slightly imperfect, ceramic pieces warp in the kiln, and surfaces bear blemishes including my own fingerprints.

Themes of ecology, balance, and interconnectedness speak through the ways in which strands of fiber weave their way though geometric forms in clay and wrap around branches of found driftwood. Ceramic, wood, and natural fibers colored with plant-based dyes are materials that feel basic and elemental. Combining “animal, vegetable, and mineral” in very deliberate and simple ways can highlight the narratives of the materials and invite the viewer to ponder each piece’s construction.