Coco has been a working Artist since the mid nineties – creating, teaching and inspiring.
Coco has been working in clay since 199o and began teaching at a local elementary school, while working on her degree at California State University of Long Beach.
In 1996, she received her BFA in ceramics. Coco started her first small business “In Pop’s Garage”. Creating a work space/studio literally in her Pop’s garage. From this small space, she worked on custom orders, consignment for small shops and was also able to teach pottery lessons. Coco also worked part time at a learning center, The Kelter Center, in West Los Angeles, C.A. as a Project Manager creating learning games for clients with learning disabilities. Many of the games Coco created included the use of clay. She found that clay helped to engage the learner and noticed these clients were able to focus for a longer periods of time, as they utilized clay, while learning the material.
From 1997 to 2000, Coco began working at Corinth Ceramics Studio in West Los Angeles teaching ceramics. In 2000 she opened her own studio/gallery,Santa Monica Mudd, where she merged her love for ceramics with her knowledge and experience in dealing with kids and adults with mental and physical challenges such as ADHD, Autism, Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In 2006, Coco opened Malibu Mudd, a mobile pottery business, allowing Coco to reach out to larger groups, particularly private parties and local schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district, while continuing to run her studio in Santa Monica.
In 2011, Coco closed the doors to her Santa Monica Studio to focus on her studio in Malibu and her growing family. She began working with a teen rehab program, helping adolescent cope with mental, physical and emotional issues with the use of clay. The dramatic changes Coco witnessed, while working with these teens who were dealing with anxiety, anger, fear and depression, was astonishing. Clay is a self esteem builder. The process involved from start to finish takes effort, but is also engaging. An outcome that has results. Much like life, the effort made, will result in how well it functions.
During the Summer of 2019, Coco relocated her studio, along with her husband and kids, to Bozeman, Montana. She continues to create and is hoping to work with adolescents who struggle to find creative outlet.
Coco’s passion for design and architecture influence the work she creates, particularly from the mid-century era and the works of artisans who proceeded that era.
The work I create guides its audience on a journey back in time, evoking a sense of nostalgia and emotional connection. When creating realism, it is the texture that truly transforms each piece into what I’m trying to depict.
The surface becomes my canvas, allowing me to express, through layers paint, just what these objects have endured. I recreate this work to pay homage to an era when craftsmanship was expected and quality was not compromised. For me, these pieces become memories of an era that people can relate to and reflect upon.
The inspiration for my “Canvas on Clay” pieces come from my childhood memories and experiences. Having grown up in Santa Monica, California, and its neighboring cities of Venice and Malibu, which happen to be well know surf/skate towns, I take images from old photos and carve these subjects/ friends from my past out of clay creating a 3-d figure. Capturing the energy depicted in each photo, I merge the carvings onto the canvas, in hopes to transcend my audience. The “Logo” clay on canvas’ are inspired by surf and skate logos/decals from my past. Each one of these logos are familiar nationally and in many cases – globally. The purpose of these representations – is to commemorate symbols from a time and a place in my life. It was an escape from the daily routine and if you were lucky, it became your daily routine.
In much of Coco’s work, she is able to fuse her love for sculpture with her love for function.