Unlike other manufactured materials, clay in its raw state is unconditioned by human hands, it is amorphous, and primal. It requires of the user coaxing and dialog as opposed to heavy-handedness. As soon as I attempt to form a piece of clay it becomes something other than a raw material, it becomes an object imbued with intent. Yet clay does not simply record my actions, it informs them as well. Clay speaks back in its limitations; it cracks, tears, crumbles and slumps. As I work with clay I try to use a light hand and allow the “imperfections” of the material show through in the finished piece.
This interaction between my hand and the material’s physical limitations yields a conversation between the maker and the material and therefore a conversation between human and nature. This conversation serves as a constant subtext for my work.
Given this context I want my work to reveal the material qualities of clay and to engage the viewer on both a visual and tactile level. The heavily textured surfaces of my forms allude to geological process such as erosion and upheaval. Through this they might speak to the idea of long, geologic time; where time is measured in millions rather than single years. Simultaneously, I strive for utilitarian forms that convey a sense of ritual. Rituals such as eating and drinking take on new meaning when a handmade, aesthetic object is made their carrier. The idea of ritual also implies a longer history and a connection to our cultural histories. I see these vessels as containers of nourishment, of history and containers of culture. They point to sustenance on both a physical and metaphorical level.