Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome! Goals. History.

Welcome! I created this blog to document my work at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in the summer of 2010 and, eventually, as a graduate student in the Ceramic Department at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

I tend to not be vigilant with these kinds of things so we'll see how it goes...

This summer I will be at Watershed as the 2010 Salad Days Artist - hard at work creating 500 plates for the annual fundraiser. I've been going through cycles of nervousness (vomit) to cautious optimism (dangerdanger!). All I tell myself is that I crank when given ample time and space... that and prozac keeps me level.

My work so far has focused on narrative imagery in functional forms. I work in hand-built low fire red and white clay with commercial and non-commercial slips, underglazes, stains, and Amaco underglaze pencils. This is my current artist statement:

In my work, I focus on functional ware as a vehicle for personal, narrative imagery. The utilitarian piece offers a unique platform for drawn imagery: it emphasizes the individual hand of the maker in an often homogeneous global market, drawings brings the utilitarian object out of the backdrop of daily routine, and places drawn art in an area where it can interact with the consumer/viewer’s personal space. I am interested in the shapes and tools of the domestic home and hearth as metaphors for the inner world of emotions, psychological processes, and spiritual aspirations such as: nourishment, protection, purity, self-sufficiency, envy, and fear. Narratives depict doll-like characters wielding pins, or running from washing machines in a flat, ambiguous dream world. Mittens deny us our ability to feed, protect, or express ourselves fully. Scissors and pins are our tools for transformative processes, while the washer machine offers purification. Characters in animal suits illustrate our uneasy existence as human animals and our desire to declaw our most potent emotions and instincts and make them cuddly. Pull toys comment on the ability to move through life; the desire to act according to one’s will and also the comforting lure of being a passenger while others are decisive.

My pieces are fired multiple times to cone 05-03 as images are developed through layers of commercial and non-commercial slips, stains, under glaze, and glaze. By working in layers, I achieve a painterly surface that preserves a sharply drawn line. I am drawn to the low fire process because it allows me to work intuitively and quickly through the surface treatment process.

I've been experimenting with figurative sculpture techniques, so hopefully this blog will capture the transformation from pots to sculpture!

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