North Bennington, Vermont 1980s

Londa Weisman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1947. She picked up a hammer at an early age and has been making things ever since. In high school she began to study art, including ceramics, and continued at Bennington College, with a B.A. in 1967 in sculpture and ceramics, and a master’s degree in 1974. The college in those decades was immersed in the driving forces of American art, with artist faculty devoted both to their own work and to teaching, enriched by frequent exposure to visiting colleagues, dealers and critics.

From 1967 to 1969, Weisman was Potter-in-Residence at Bennington Potters, creating large one-of-a-kind planters and several designs for small factory production. Then, after an initial year of graduate work at the college, she seized the chance to go to sea, joining her older brother and friends to buy a 90-foot Baltic Schooner in Denmark, fix it up and sail around the world. Three years later, having gotten as far as South America, she returned to Bennington to complete her graduate work, and the boat carried on. To this day, her time on the boat and at sea shapes her work.

Weisman established the ongoing Mechanic Street Pottery & Iron Works in 1974. For 25 years she made functional production pottery, as well as unique pieces, architectural welding fabrication and occasional steel furniture commissions. Since 1996 her primary focus has been on sculpture, enabled by residencies at Art Park, the Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She uses steel and wood, cardboard and tarpaper to make dark structures just big enough to enter, into which she introduces shapes and shades of light. Complementing this work is a series of small vignettes showing people in rudiments of structure, having encounters open to interpretation. Married in 2003, Weisman continues to live and work primarily in North Bennington, Vermont.

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