Statement of Action

Writing on Pots

Through layering, obscuring, juxtaposing, and repeating script, I create patterns of words in ceramic glaze that offer, as all language offers, the chance for connection. The distortion and disorientation of the text mimics the real but imagined nature of expression. There is an integrity to the handwritten word, the connection to human presence being so clearly expressed in the evidence of the hand. The intimacy of the act of reading allows us to feel an internal connection. Though that integrity and intimacy can be exploited, I am more interested in the tantalizing promise of these (missed?) connections, in the projections, the empathy. However imaginary, however fleeting, empathy is most vital to our existence.

As usual, I can communicate this better in writing, when I don’t feel the awkward weight of human presence, of the other. Maybe that’s what I get from writing. I feel that humans are sometimes more honest and meaningful when they write because they don’t have to deal with societal pressures. There are pressures to written communication and, often, these are felt but the sense of intimacy and privacy in writing and reading remains. This is actually the very aspect that can be exploited by propaganda, both personal and commercial. Written language is somewhat insidious in that it seemingly speaks only to you.

asemic script/automatic writing

asemic script/automatic writing

I want the text to have layers, both literally and figuratively, to be discovered over time, imagined in some places, where the meaning has been lost or distorted beyond recognition. Functional objects, in this case, pots, offer ideal circumstances for the discovery of these layers and secrets. Through use and play, through the simple act of tactile exploration, users know an object over time, comprehending, imagining, uncovering. All art can be known and discovered over time, but functional objects, however fantastically decorative, are mundane; they are just as insidious as the written word in that they are both highly charged and commonplace.

a pattern made out of "me" and "you"

a pattern made out of “me” and “you”

a narrative form

a narrative form

Plates that are not for sharing or: No, I’m not going to finish that but neither can you


This gallery contains 1 photo.

One of the tasks that I set for myself this semester was to make functional ware that is conceptually charged. We potters often attach somewhat romantic fantasies to our motives, wherein we envision our pots going on to fulfill roles … Continue reading

ohioclaytestI tested some Ohio clay this semester. This sample is from Furnace Run, a tributary of the Cuyahoga River. This (admittedly bad) photo shows the sample when fired to cone 6 (around 2232 degrees Fahrenheit) oxidation. Surprisingly, the clay shows every indication of being able to go higher in temperature, something which most wild, surface clays cannot do. It is biscuity, absorbent, and powdery–when I run my finger over the surface, I come away with fine dust on my fingertips. The color is quite beautiful, a sort of mocha with purple undertones. When raw, the color is slate blue. Next weekend, I will take it to cone 10, around 2345 degrees Fahrenheit, and then we’ll know more about the limits of this material.