Herron alumna's ceramic cat portraits find life as props for TV comedy

  • Oct. 14, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Herron School of Art and Design alumna Hadley Sedgwick broke the news via social media last week.

What news?

"Even broke girls can afford original art," said Glennda McGann, assistant dean of development and external affairs for Herron.

Sedgwick's exact words the morning of Oct. 8 were: "The stellar performance of my wall tiles in '2 Broke Girls' last night ..."

That was the caption on Sedgwick's Facebook page for a screen shot from the Oct. 7 airing of the CBS comedy in which three of Sedgwick's original creations served as props.

In the TV episode, the stars visited the apartment of a new friend. Three ceramic decorative tiles created by Sedgwick in her Hadley Clay Studio hang on a wall in the friend's apartment. The episode's story line focused on a stray cat, and all three of Sedgwick's tiles featured the face of a cat.

Sedgwick, then Hadley Evans, graduated from Herron School of Art and Design in 2003, after transferring from Indiana State University as a ceramics major.

Anita Giddings, currently a Herron senior lecturer, was an academic advisor at that time. She helped Sedgwick work out her class schedule and has followed her career over the years.

"One thing I remember about her (as a student) was the old beat-up compact car she painted to look like wood grain," Giddings said. "I was looking out the window and saw that funny car. It looked like it was made out of wood."

In 2000, Sedgwick won one of two honorable mention awards in the ceramics category of the Herron annual student show. Following the show, her art, along with that of the 21 other winners, was displayed for a month at a Massachusetts Avenue gallery.

While she knew Sedgwick's work would find an audience and buyers, the TV venue was a delightful surprise, Giddings said.

"I would expect her work to be in a gallery. I never think about these TV shows. It certainly is cool," Giddings said.

Sedgwick posted notices of her prime-time debut. "Look for my artwork on the set of CBS's television series '2 Broke Girls' in this upcoming season (premiering in September)!" on Aug. 18, and, "Warner Brothers bought three of my ceramic wall tiles, all cats, very colorful designs!" the night before the broadcast.

Copies of the cat portrait wall sculptures featured on CBS are now available for purchase online through Hadley Clay Studio, Sedgwick's studio in Whitemarsh Island, Ga.

"Founded in 2009, Hadley Clay Studio is the incorporated body of original and handmade work by me. ... My goal is to provide customers with unique, high-quality, affordable fine art," Sedgwick wrote on her online bio page.

"Clay is a vehicle for my expression. My approach is similar to that of textiles: I cut from a pattern and piece together like sewing, except rather than fabric and thread I use clay and slip. The inspiration comes from Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, which I admire greatly."

'Siamese Cats Portrait' ceramic by Hadley Sedgwick as seen on TV.

'Siamese Cats Portrait' ceramic by Hadley Sedgwick as seen on TV.

Print Quality Photo

Diane Brown