Humanities Student Gallery
February 8th, 2006
Many of the ceramic objects I create transcend their purely functional roots in favor of a visual and tactile language that has developed out of observation and experience. Through my work I engage in a game of call and response with culture, environment and world affairs. Inspiration is wide-ranging and includes memories of childhood toys, fabrics and textiles from many cultures, and the calligraphy of ancient texts.
All of my hand built forms are slab constructed in terra cotta, a red earthenware clay. A piece is initially conceived through sketches. After scale is determined, pattern pieces are cut from either paper or roofing felt. I proceed much as a dressmaker would, attaching patterns to the clay slab, followed by cutting, folding, darting and assembling. After the slab has become a threedimensional form visual and tactile depth are created through the application of multiple layers of clay, slips, stains and glazes, and by scraping, incising and carving into the surface. Many of the tools I use are homemade or found objects that impart unique characteristics to the clay or allow me to apply slips and glazes in an interesting manner. The work is twice fired in an electric kiln, first after the piece has been built and again after glazing.