Born and raised in Bulgaria, Biliana got classical training as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker from the country's most prestigious Vocational High School. In high school, she majored in Printmaking, forming her love for her ceramics' graphic surface approach. She then studies ceramics at the National Academy of Arts, earning an MA in Ceramics. Traditional crafts and Contemporary European ceramics were the foundation of her education.
After graduation Biliana moved to the United States and started her studio practice and teaching. With over 20 years of teaching experience, she specializes in sculptural, hand-built ceramics, and surface design techniques.
I love form. I have always found it fascinating; from the seashells to the rolling hills in a landscape - curves, silhouettes, and cast shadows are what engage my attention. I am transfixed by how forms transition into one another.
In my work, I predominantly explore the female form. For me, the female body transcends emotion. I have two categories of sculptural work: large (over 20" in height), which have a monumental appeal, and I construct with clay slabs; their shapes are simplified and have a calm demeanor. And the small sculptures (typically below 12" in stature), which are built solid like quick studies and sketches and are dynamic and playful.
I enjoy working on decorative art pieces too. Large bowls and plates offer the best three-dimensional canvas for my love for graphic imagery, texture, and color. I call that body of work "Objects of Function." The contrast of crisp lines and delicate colored textures is vital to me. I use tape resist to get sharp lines, and for the colored textured surface: engobes (specially formulated liquid clays) and lichen-like glazes. In addition, I like the forms to have a movement. Therefore, they are constructed by hand, using coils and slabs of clay. This method allows a measured imperfection - a reference to the organic and natural world, a subtle movement to observe from all angles.
In some of my work, I explored a symbiosis between the "Figurative" and the "Objects of Function." I create a double-exposed image by applying my graphics to the sculptures. It gives the figures a space to sit in, the shining light through a window overlaying and emphasizing the body's curves.