I am a ceramic artist who makes porcelain sculptures. My work is about what it means to grow. I think that a life, an idea, and a work of art all begin with perfection, an untested plan of what they are meant to be. As each is nurtured and buffeted by challenges beyond their control – nature, ideas and time – each must transform to survive. It seems that all things become richer in history when the blueprint is altered. Layers of meaning, complexity and ambiguity develop.
I have been working on a series of wall pieces that I title Becoming Imperfect. This series began with a group of non-functional vessels that were thrown purposely off center. The extensive alteration of surface texture and the addition of hand built elements resulted in vessels that spoke about time and how things grow beyond their beginnings. Porcelain is traditionally used as a clay material that embodies perfection. In my work, its strength and elasticity enables it to be used to create something different.
Over time, the hand built components on my vessels became more essential to me than the containers that held them. The wall pieces that have evolved are composed of hundreds of small bits of clay - balls, sticks, and various other porcelain elements, mounted to tailored clay tiles. The fired tiles are mounted to painted wood panels in irregular geometric patterns. The white/not white color of the porcelain has replaced the need for glaze.
Though I use the same process to form a given design element, the elements all differ from one another. I seek the resonance created in the tension between the sameness of the multitude of components and the subtle but distinct variation between them.
My work is created by intention and chance. The patterns and rhythms created when the work is assembled embody the idea that the whole is much more than a sum of its parts. I do not control the patterns generated by the design elements. Rather, my original plan surrenders to what has been created. The perfect is transformed into a finer imperfect.
In these times of political and social upheaval, I hope that my work asks people to reflect upon how we have all been made. I want the viewer to examine what is common in all of us and celebrate the beauty and complexity of our differences.