I am a clay artist and use porcelain to create my wall pieces and vessels. I make work whose components reference things that grow in the natural world. I am intrigued by the way an intended design transforms as something comes to life. I see this in nature and in the creation of art. A seedling alters as it stretches to bend to the light. For a work of art in clay, the qualities of the clay, the firing process, echoes of memory of art from the past, and the artist’s spirit, all push against an original concept of what the work should be. As in nature, when a work of art grows, what develops is finer and more authentic than what was first designed.
My work is created by intention and chance. My process is to react to what I see the piece becoming and, at times, move it toward my vision. Many times however, my role is to accept what has emerged on its own, and go from there. Porcelain for me is not about perfection, but rather, about flexibility and strength. I know that part of what my work celebrates is the persistence of beauty in the world. Beauty for me is the physical representation of freedom and spirituality. Beauty enables that silent moment when we see something and can momentarily step outside ourselves.
The first piece in my series of wall pieces was titled Chorus. The theme has remained central to this body of work. As in a piece of music, though each “voice” is distinct, the synthesis of many voices is more powerful than any individual one. In the same way, although an identical process directs the formation of each of my small elements from bits of clay, the pieces created are all slightly different from one another. When the elements are assembled, there is a resonance in the tension between the sameness of all the elements and the subtle but distinct variation between them.
The vessels that I make are thrown off center and then hand-built. They enable me to work in a spontaneous way and often employ experimental techniques and materials. The extensive alteration of the surface and the addition of fragmented, hand-built elements, speak about how things grow and weather over time. In these days of political and social upheaval, I hope that my work asks people to reflect upon how we are made, layer by layer, and altered by the forces of identity, nature and society. I want the viewer to examine what is common in all of us and celebrate the beauty and complexity of our differences.