I have always been interested in handcrafted ceramics. I grew up with handmade pottery in the house and two creative parents (my father a carpenter and a mother who did everything from beadwork to basket weaving to quilting…). There is something very different from an object that is handcrafted and one that is mass-produced. As an artist, I am intrigued by this juxtaposition. What is the purpose of making anything by hand anymore? It is much cheaper to buy a slip cast mug at Target—and so readily available. And yet I am still drawn to the handmade. Maybe I am a romantic because I love the touch, the smell, the process, and the history of clay. There is a sense of satisfaction in creating art on the potter’s wheel. This is because there is still a need for craftsmanship and skill—which many contemporary artists have shifted away from.
I would call my art sculptural/functional pottery. I mostly make functional forms that fit together in sculptural ways—although some are 100% one or the other. I use translucent porcelain, which brings a delicate look to the forms and allows light to play a factor. A majority of my work is carved or altered after being thrown on the potter’s wheel. I carve very gestural, fluid, curvy lines that reference water and/or energy. The relationship of forms and how objects sit together is appealing to me. I like to arrange things so that they take on a new life and/or meaning when placed next to each other, but still stand alone as individual and subtly unique forms.
My pots are like little families. Families no longer sit down to enjoy meals together in our society. Everything is fast paced and instant gratification. Americans rarely have time to cook a meal let alone make a ceramic pot by hand. It is for this reason that I make very detailed and handmade functional pieces. I enjoy taking the time to put something of myself into every piece. I have made two complete dinnerware sets that fit together to create a mandala or flower design when looked at from above. Mandalas are intricate designs that usually have a central point that everything else radiates from. Traditionally, both Tibetan monks and Native Americans have created these out of sand. I hope to give the same kind of meditative and spiritual message to my artwork as these sand paintings portray. I love the idea of everyone sitting around one table and eating from a set that is as much about the individual pieces as it is about the whole. On smaller scales, I have also created several smaller cup and bowls series inspired by the same concept.
Nature in general has been an inspiration since I was young. I have always enjoyed being outdoors: hiking, swimming, camping, etc. This has influenced my artwork for some time. Specifically, the element of water has intense meaning to me. I feel ruled by the tides and enjoy carving lines that are reminiscent of water or waves. Another interpretation of this carving is that it represents energy or Chi. The Chinese culture believes that every living thing is made up of Chi and if one looks back at paintings from 3,000 years ago, one can see a curvy swirl pattern of interlocking lines. This pattern is called the cloud scroll motif and is a visual representation of Chi. Channeling this Chi is the focus of many martial arts forms and the idea behind meditation.
My ultimate hope is that people feel a sense of comfort and calm when viewing or using my creations. In a world full of stress, fear, pain, worry, and horror, I hope to leave a peaceful mark—no matter how small.