Clay captured Mark Yasenchack’s imagination when he was 6 years old. Fascinated by the greyoil-based modelling clay that never dries out, he built buildings with miniature people, spaceships with miniature aliens, or sharks eating miniature scuba divers. Later, referring to the clear overlapping pages of an encyclopedia, he made cadavers complete with organs (floating them in a vinegar and
baking soda froth).
He is grateful for the influence of his Aunt Dee, a creative do-it-yourself teacher/artist, and grandfather Pete, a work-aholic who could do anything. Of course he rebelled against all of it, frustrated by Dee’s perfectionism and Pete who had little time for anything but work. But with the realization that the work he does differs very little from the work they did; crafting things for people
and wanting the work to be excellent like Dee and finding the same peacefulness in working as Pete did, he now recognizes their creative energy in all he does.
At Baldwin-Wallace College, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, and started his career as a ceramic artist in his senior year, taking his first ceramics course with David Williamson. Focusing on glazed wheelthrown shapes which gradually evolved into handbuilt vessels with small details of glaze he started his pursuit of form and texture.
Currently he is intrigued with new materials and subjects and seeks the challenge of mastering new materials and grappling with emotional content and prose in his collage and encaustics. The ablility to overlap images, thereby linking them visually and relating their meanings is compelling. Working with words and text fragments from old books, he addresses some of the more personal themes and ideas he has had a need to express.