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Young Antiguan reconnects with her roots as she looks to improve her craft

By Theresa Goodwin

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A young Antiguan artist is reconnecting with her roots and is currently doing some extensive research in the area of pottery to incorporate more of her West Indian culture into her budding career.

Twenty-five-year-old Chelsea McMaster has spent the past two weeks visiting a number of local potteries in the hope of learning about the type of work that goes into many of the traditional pieces that are on display around the island.

McMaster is a ceramic artist based in Reading, Pennsylvania. She has earned an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and currently works at Google Works Centre of Arts, teaching workshops and classes.

Ceramic art is essentially decorative creations that are made from clay.

On her recent visit to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, McMaster told Observer media that while she only does designs on a part-time basis, it will eventually become her main focus.

“I am still trying to figure what type of creation I am interested in making because I do a little bit of cups and plates, but I also do sculpture. I want to find out a little bit more about Antigua and how I can put a bit more about my culture into my work,” she said.

She is returning home for the first time in six years for the purpose of completing her research. So far, she has completed research at the museum and has visited several other artists on the island.

 “I want to meet everybody,” McMaster said. “A few years ago, I attended a conference facilitated by a woman who has been around the world looking for potters, and there was a session on Antigua and Barbuda and I said there is no reason why I should not know who these persons are, and decided that I have to meet them on my return.”

The ambitious Antiguan intends to apply to grad school within the next two or three years to continue studies in ceramic. She said having a portfolio with a wide range of work is a prerequisite.

Some of her work could be viewed at www.chelseamcmaster.art or muddymellae.com an online store where she sells some of her creations.

Chelsea is related to Rosemarie “Rosie” McMaster, the trailblazer behind the famed Susie’s Hot Sauce.

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