I have chosen to express my voice through working almost exclusively on the wheel to make vessels. As domestic objects, pots inherently hold content. Often made with the intent of viewer interaction, we develop close physical and domestic relationships with these intimate objects. Pottery relates to our bodies, regardless of the scale. The anatomy of a pot consists of lips, shoulders, hips, bellies, and feet. I would like my work to represent a marriage of functional pottery and fecund shapes found in nature and in our human bodies.
My pots are nostalgic in a sense; reminiscent of my childhood love of the natural world, their forms are drawn from voluptuous structures produced by nature. Growing up in the fruit belt of Southwest Michigan, my family had an abundant vegetable garden every year along with nectarine, apple, and pear trees in the backyard. I have come to realize that the most beautiful forms are produced by nature in fruit and vegetables. These organic forms often mimic the human body through texture, color, and shape. I am drawn to work with a gritty, rough, and dark clay body; the texture of this material is similar to the dense, clay filled, soil of my childhood landscape. I thrive on the physicality of the material, and enjoy using my body in all aspects of the process.
The refined works of 20th Century British studio potters have particularly influenced my recent works. I have also been influenced by the playful freedom in manipulation of form in the works of George Ohr; I admire his work because of the ease in which his pots are ruffled, dimpled, and manipulated. I often look to pre-historic female figures, in which feminine features have been enhanced to represent their fertility. The shape of the female body throughout art history has been a focus in aesthetic practice since the beginning of time and is still relevant to contemporary issues. The patterned heads of pre-historic figures often feature a texture similar to the flowing patterns of clay ruffles.
The double-lidded jar is a historical reference to pottery, but is also symbolic because two lids secure and protect the inner contents. The textures in my work reference ruffles and lace associated with delicate features of undergarments as well as sensitive folds of skin. The dimples and lumps bring focus to the irregularities of the human bodies including stretched skin, cellulite and fat deposits. Like our bodies, moist clay is a naturally sensuous material that is responsive to the human touch.