Drawing inspiration from natural sources, my work is an exploration and experimentation with ceramic materials. Responding to the changes in the clay as it is modeled, carved, dried, and fired, my pieces are found rather than planned. I work with the cracks, and bubbles, and drips with the intention of building living surfaces and forms. Process is essential to what my work becomes and how it arrives at that point.
Clay is ultimately malleable. It changes with every imprint and touch. Clay isn’t static, yet it is physical and solid. You have to dig into it with your hands. It is this physicality that draws me to clay as a material. My pieces are an exercise in handbuilding; in working off of a sliver of inspiration and letting a piece naturally take form. My building process is eminently physical and intuitive. My glazing is a reaction. I work off what is happening with the glaze to build a more organic surface. Through the process of firing and re-glazing a piece I can respond to what is happening within that piece. I create large-scale ceramic sculptures that are surface fired multiple times in order to finally reach my aesthetic goal.
My choice of subject matter is also deeply connected to material. Clay collects details like google collects data. It can articulate the variety found in a natural environment. The crust of lichen is mirrored by a thick layer of crawl glaze. A tidal pool reflected in texture. Magmatic ooze matched with liquid lava glaze. Clay comes from nature and mimics it in turn. My process itself becomes a mirror of nature.
The goal of my work is to share the sense of exploration that I experience in making a piece with that piece’s viewer. I want them to look at piece and notice something different every time. To notice a new way the glaze pooled or mixed in one section of the piece or to see the motion I tried to carve into a work’s texture. I want them to see life in my work, something vital.
Inspired by artists such as Jason Briggs, Susan Beiner, Andy Goldsworthy, Torbjørn Kvasbø and Matt Wedel, I want my pieces to draw a distinct reaction from the viewer. Where Briggs causes a visceral reaction I hope to cause a reaction of wonder. I want people to think of alien worlds found in the dark oceans and damp forest floors. I want them to see the life in the busyness I try to impart into my work. From Susan Beiner I draw that love for busyness. Life is captured in the overwhelming amount of detail in her work. Life and nature is key to Andy Goldsworthy’s work. Where he is an organising force that acts within the environment I am a disorganising force trying to bring an organised material (fired clay) back to nature. Matt Wedel and Torbjørn Kvasbø create worlds of scale. They capture the enormity of life. Wedel is inspiring in that he works in a similarly solid and physical style to me while Kvasbø seeks to get the most out of intense firings (having blown up several kilns firing them to extreme temperatures) and the reactions they cause in the material.
Coral coils and crustacean crevices. Flowing fungi and flourishing fish. Anxious anemones and articulated aquatics. Vital Pool, my current project, is a series of sculptural works based on abstracted and alien, sea and fungal life. It tries to bring that life, that vitality, to the forefront through a texture built by carving into the clay and the process of re-glazing glazed work. I want people to be able to picture my pieces surrounded by ocean water or the detrus of a forest floor.