Words and Links
An interview for Kate Fisher's Both Artist and Mother from April 2017.
My artworks are vehicles for communication to convey a certain truth about my experiences as human so that the user and I can find connection with each other through a functional vessel. I begin with my body and my perception; it is the genesis for all that I make. My pots are made from an autobiographical stance and are a meditation on longing.
For the bulk of my art process, I handbuild functional pots out of porcelain. The pots are created through a combination of techniques that rely heavily on pinching the clay into form. Pinching a pot in porcelain is both a way of making and a choice in surface. The pinched canvas of a pot tells the story of the exquisite labor of its making. Like handmade paper with a deckled edge, the pinched surface holds line and glaze, accepting imperfection. I need the fingerprints to be present as to really call out to the handmade quality of the work.
Porcelain, while a fickle material, heightens the sense of touch and provides a dense surface for vivid color. I layer glazes in painterly patterns, relying on the glass to ooze and melt over the skin. The result is a collage of hard and soft lines that blur and sharpen over the functional form. Through the glazed form, I want the surface to capture life’s lability and instability, messy in parts where the grisly fat and meat met crisp bone.
As an artist, I aim to make my human experience sharable. My work represents an extension of my physical being. When someone uses a cup I’ve created, I want them to think of my lip touching theirs as they drink. I draw inspiration from how my full body interacts with other objects…other bodies. The presence of my fingers pinching the work is proof of my body as maker. Every breath, like every fingerprint in clay, is a record of my existence that I want to communicate.
The vessels I make are the vehicles for appetite. They can deliver satisfaction to the body and at the same time they can be the objects of desire. Through the use of a bowl or a cup I’ve made we can have a truthful conversation about how, like the ceramic pot, we have all been both fragile and resilient. The functional object allows me subversive access into the most intimate surroundings and engages the viewer on both a visual and tactile level. When the works are displayed in the gallery I play with installation so that an environment is created for the work to be experienced as objects of beauty.
Ultimately most of the objects I make are special occasion pots for the home. They are not necessarily meant for daily use but for times of reflection, ritual, and celebration. It is in this arena of the domestic that I find the dining room a place of community and conversation. The dinner table is a stage to share with honesty, my struggles and longings through my artwork.