After retiring as a theoretical physicist 15 years ago, Dr. Mei-Li Shih Milonni now finds beauty and expression in pottery.
Working at UNM-Los Alamos ceramics studio, she began creating her vibrantly colored and elegantly formed vessels about ten years ago. Sometimes whimsical, such as her ceramic handbag and shoes in bright green, and sometimes subtle with simple, functional forms and earth toned, graded glazes, Shih’s pottery is expressive of a gamut of creative impulse.
While she doesn’t have any particular influences, she mentions Van Gogh as her favorite artist.
In addition to her elegant forms, Milonni uses Chinese characters and poetry, her own and traditional verses, to further enrich the surface and content.
“I feel there is great beauty in traditional Chinese poetry and calligraphy and try to incorporate aspects of that in my work,” she said. “I try to use simple and natural forms. I think that including Chinese writings adds an additional artistic dimension to my pieces.”
Milonni’s work will be on display in the Mesa Public Library Art Gallery display cases during the month of September and will be for sale by contacting her or her representative directly. She is excited to be spending several months at Harvard soon exploring the expanded opportunities their facilities offer for pottery making.
“I will be exploring more techniques and gaining broader perspectives in ceramics,” Milonni said.
Milonni’s work will be on view through Sept. 25 in the Mesa Public Library Art Gallery, open during regular library hours.