Artists Leslie Green Guilbault and Sam Graceffo offer a range of creative works in "Artifact Collection." | Photos courtesy of Cheryl Chappell, Edgewood Gallery

“Artifact Collection,” on display at the Edgewood Gallery, works on several levels.

First, it presents a slew of ceramic works by Leslie Green Guilbault, focusing on the range of her creative interests. Second, it presents several works in which natural elements such as bone, fur and porcupine quills are integrated into porcelain vessels. Third, the exhibit displays not only Guilbault’s ceramic pieces but also a selection of jewelry made by Sam Graceffo.

To begin, a small group of artworks mix white-on-white porcelain with geometric expressions. In one piece, porcupine quills are cut and arranged to form a peace symbol within a circle. In “Wagon Wheel  X 6,” the quills represent the spokes of a wheel. “Let’s Meet in the Middle” builds on quills crossing over each other, looking like lines bisecting a circle.

Other works, like those from Guilbault’s “Metallic Collection,” demonstrate Guilbault’s skill in carving porcelain with original designs. The motifs vary from a tree to patterns associated with Middle Eastern culture to abstract forms. Clearly, these pieces don’t include actual metal, but they do have a metallic appearance. That’s due to the artist’s use of various glazes.

Those ceramics offer just a taste of Guilbault’s ceramics. She also created a series of ten works titled “When Cancer Comes to Call.” Each conveys a facial expression including gloom, surprise and reflection. This series clearly has emotional import for Guilbault. She has survived cancer and joined in campaigns to support other survivors.

As mentioned earlier, she works with elements from nature in some of her pieces. “The Artifact,” for example, mixes horsehair, fur, a found metal blade and a snake vertebra.

And there’s “Big Spoon,” which blends fur, carved porcelain and an antelope horn. That work is shaped like a snake, giving it an energy not usually expected in a wall piece.

The artist also made “Celtic Knot,” encompassing a carved cow horn, and “Scapula,” with its blend of a buffalo scapula (shoulder blade), porcelain, strings and quills.

Other works further document the diversity of Guilbault’s ceramics. She created a set of eight small vases, none of which utilize natural objects. In another instances, five porcelain works are displayed together. Two are decorated with feathers, and three don’t have that decoration.

Because the exhibit devotes lots of space to Guilbault’s artworks, there’s an opportunity for viewers to take an in-depth look at her portfolio. In several works, she carved lines into porcelain; these are still visually interesting.

On the other hand, the Edgewood show doesn’t cover every aspect of Guilbault’s ceramic career. It’s doesn’t delve into her “Botanical Collection,” a series of works featuring small horse figures and horse hair, or the pieces she calls “Tiny Pots.” Yes, they are small works.

Back in 2017, Guilbault received recognition as a Roycroft Master Artisan in Ceramics. Roycroft Studios, based in East Aurora, New York, has a significant reputation in American arts-and-crafts. Back around 1900, Roycroft was a key player in the influential Arts and Crafts Movement. Today, Roycroft, still located on the original grounds,  continues to celebrate artistic expression.

Graceffo, meanwhile, has a bunch of sterling silver jewelry on display, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. They are decorated with various original designs such as triangles and other forms.

“Artifact Collection” is on display through June 23 at the Edgewood Gallery, 216 Tecumseh Road in Syracuse. The venue is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 315-445-8111.

Carl Mellor covered visual arts for the Syracuse New Times from 1994 through 2019. He continues to write about artists and exhibitions in the Syracuse area.