Functional work draws me in with its social nature-pottery interacting with people, and people interacting with one another in the kitchen, around pots. The work inherently lives with us, and that accessibility offers an inlet for objects that provoke thought. The scale of these everyday objects is transcendent, bringing mindful presence to everyday activities. Making pots pushes back against some part of our culture in a small, daily meaningful way. It encourages embracing a material culture wrought with little snippets of individual stories, in contrast to mass-produced objects that lack human touch.
I create motifs whose layered and textured surfaces blur the dimension of where the form/body stop and the skin/surface start. Both by working with terra sigilatta and by using resists under the glaze, I show layers of clay bodies that lie underneath the surface. Terra sigilatta harkens back to historic technology that made clever use of simple available materials. I repurpose the trimmings of different clay bodies to make the terra sigilattas just as a quilter repurposes family fabrics into a new quilt. Overlapping these materials using resist techniques creates shapes and lines with crisp, fine, edges that create tension. The masking makes a window revealing what is underneath the glaze. The glossy glazed areas often dissolve the terra sigilatta demonstrating release and making a strong reflective surface that, in contrast makes the clay appear soft.
I look to ancient ceramics and folk pottery for the humility and pleasantness in the forms and careful, sophisticated surface decoration. Historic pots as cultural artifacts implore me to question the context of how studio pottery behaves in our lives today. I want to create pots that cause people to ponder the values embodied by the simple things we surround ourselves with.