Art Fusion: October 19, 2019 Visual Artist: Max Lehman Singer/Songwriter: Stephanie Hatfield

Art Fusion Image for Art Fusion: October 19, 2019 Visual Artist: Max Lehman Singer/Songwriter: Stephanie Hatfield

Visual Artist: Max Lehman


Skeletons are a recurring theme in my work. 

It is true that my skulls and skeletons are fashioned after art from the Mexican Dia de los Muertos and pre-Columbian civilization, but I am also drawing on images from Buddhist cave paintings and other ancient societies.  

This is my reaction to representations of skulls and skeletons in pop culture and how they are used in street art such as graffiti or murals, tattoos, and as they appear in music and fashion. Skulls seem to be endemic across the world and interpretations are as numerous as there are people, everybody has their own idea of what a skull represents.

My work has always been primarily about imaginary worlds. In this current series, I am using skulls as platforms to represent those worlds. These are representations of parallel dimensions, distant planets, strange lands or make-believe cityscapes. Birds, reptiles, and insects are the inhabitants of these worlds. Sometimes I think that these are the societies that arise after our own civilization has been destroyed by environmental collapse.

I feel like I am taking an archetypal image (the skull) something that’s supposed to be scary, roll it in sugar put some whipped cream and a cherry on top and viola. It’s now a sugary sweet, candy-coated sort of death. It’s the spoon full of sugar that helps the reality go down. These are the places I go in my daydreams that are the source of my imagination.


The work shown here comprises many traditional ceramic techniques. 

Pieces begin by having clay rolled into large slabs using a device created for this purpose. 

There are also extrusions, and a variety of drape molds involved. Early on the clay is quite wet and cannot support its own weight. But as the drying proceeds the clay goes through a series of "dryness" that allows for manipulation.  

Leather hard is a state where the clay is still malleable but also strong enough to support structure. During this state construction can take place and the clay is able to support additions and attachments. The clay can actually be worked up to some very dry states. Some attachments to a given piece are done through a system of pegging with wire. Wire can also be used for detail work where the clay might be too fragile. 

After firing, my pieces are painted entirely black. From here the surfaces are built up from layer upon layer of translucent and opaque paints. Washes are also applied; some surfaces can have dozens of layers to achieve very deep colors. After the primary surface is achieved, painting in the details emphasizes the various elements of the piece.

Singer/Songwriter: Stephanie Hatfield

"This woman flat out BRINGS IT every time she is within reach of a microphone"   - Ira Gordon KBAC 98.1 Radio Free Santa Fe

It is no surprise that listening to Stephanie Hatfield calls up images of wind-swept mesas and sinfully-good heartbreaks. With dreamy lyrics and a story worth telling, her music embodies the emotional release of having your heart ripped apart and lovingly put back together again. Although originally from the Detroit area, this eclectic musician hails from a Kentucky hillbilly heritage with a rich poetic history, and now calls the desert Southwest her home. While it is clear that such varied locations have inspired her lyrics, it is unadulterated passion that drives Hatfield’s music. Much like her physical journey across the country, her musical expressions have also traveled— from the church choir, through genres as diverse as classical, opera, broadway, jazz and folk—and eventually found a home in rock. A sense of heart-wrenching empathy is woven throughout her songs, but it’s the raw power of Hatfield’s expansive voice that makes her the perfect soundtrack for an adrenaline junkie who craves the rush.

Throughout a life of travel and exploration, music has been the one constant for Hatfield. By the age of 8, she was singing in three different church choirs. It was not stage-fright that she felt during her first solo performance, a song performed for 200 people in her Presbyterian congregation, but rather fear that she would trip on the way up to the stage. The sound of the audience’s appreciative applause had her hooked, and Hatfield began traveling for competitions and performances at a young age. Operatically trained, with extensive study in Vocal Performance and classical music at Michigan State University, Hatfield’s diverse and professional musical background can be clearly heard in her latest musical endeavors. If her other pursuits are any indication—Motorcycle Racing, Mountain Search and Rescue, African safaris, swimming with sharks on the Barrier Reef, shooting guns and knitting—Hatfield possesses a tremendous commitment and fearlessness in the chase of her passions. With a vivacious personality to match the compelling singing, songwriting, and performance, Hatfield will make you wish for love just so you can feel the deep ache of heartbreak.