My Nature Ceramics


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Artist Statement          
    My clay vessels celebrate the diversity of life that is revealed in natural objects and living organisms in and along the ocean and its shores.  Each individual piece is inspired by the multitude of intricate forms, textures and colors of sea-plants, coral, driftwood and ocean creatures which inhabit this environment.  These sculptures are at once familiar and strange, projecting a level of wonder and mystery. 
    Each suggests individuality; a fantasy creature that is inviting in form. Similar to our own life’s experiences, the exteriors evoke the weathering of time through texture and color.  The interiors contrast with glaze exposing an inner volume of life within.  A life-cycle perhaps implemented by a journey of ever changing currents and final rest upon a sandy shore.           
    It is within these interactions that I wish to establish an intimate connection between the viewer and the mysteries of this biomorphic work.  These sculpted vessels reflect my own appreciation for the ocean’s beauty.  They represent a view into my nature, a nature that can be shared and enjoyed by those who are fascinated by the world within the sea and the fantasy of the created object.

Technical Process Statement

             My clay sculptures and vessels are constructed by a variety of techniques including coil-building, slab construction and wheel-throwing.  I use a formulated white clay-body that ranges between mid-range stoneware and earthenware.  Nylon fiber is wedged into the clay to help minimize any possibilities of surface cracks during the drying process.  I begin each piece by placing a one-quarter inch slab over a hump mold to begin the initial base of the sculpture.  I continue process of building by coiling one-inch diameter coils or attaching one-eighth to one-quarter inch slabs to create the overall form.  In the leather-hard stage, I begin carving and extracting clay by hand using multiple hand-made tools to achieve a variety of shapes and surface textures.  Once I am satisfied with the surface, I map-out the areas where the intrusions will be most effective.  I cut out these areas and insert either wheel-thrown bowls that have been distorted by hand or lay-in 1/8 inch slabs.  The slabs are then manipulated and distorted by hand through cut access windows in the side of the sculpture.  Once I am satisfied with this process, I re-attach the cut-out and touch-up the texture.             
            Over a three to four day period, each piece can take up to eight to ten hours to complete the construction process. Once dry and in the green-ware stage, each piece is sanded and inspected before the initial bisque-firing.  Once bisque-fired, I apply multiple washes of colored mason stains and slips using a variety of wide to fine point brushes.  Once satisfactory exterior surface color is achieved, several coats of glaze are applied to interior intrusions, selected parts of the sculpture or vessel creating a duality of glossy and mat surfaces.  Each piece can be fired up to three or four times to achieve satisfactory results.  The firing process can take place in a number of different applications including wood, gas reduction and oxidation atmospheres.