2010 - present
2010 - present
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In my ceramic work I am fortunate enough to have access to clays made from a local Pottery, Quyle Kilns, which has been producing clay and tableware since the 1940’s. I work in a high-temperature red stoneware sculpture body, notable for its rich earthy-red color as well as it’s structural integrity. My hand-building process begins with the construction of a form using a combination of both coil-built methods and press molding techniques from plaster molds. In the larger coil-built pieces, I often build the forms thicker than needed which allows me to carve in high relief and play with textural layers. In the press molded forms, I start with casting an organic object into plaster giving me a mold with the option to work in multiples if I choose. I then push a thick slab into the mold giving me a “ready” form that I can then alter and explore with. The top of these pieces then get closed off with a generously thick slab, again, so that I can achieve a variety of layers through carving (as in Jackfruit, Pumpkin, & Starfruit.) I then lay out the mathematical design as a sketch into the clay surface and start carving to reveal the form in layers (this can be upwards of 40-60 hours depending on the complexity of the piece). Once the piece is finished, it then goes through a series of multiple firings varying through different temperature ranges (down-firing). It is first “bisque” fired to achieve vitrification, and then I begin the lengthy process of glazing to introduce color. In each firing I add thin applications of glaze so that I may blend my colors, as well as giving me transparency and a layered history until the desired results are reached. The final step is applying the silver luster which is the metallic surface you find throughout my work, (luster is actual silver particulate that gets applied and fired at a very cool temperature). Typically, each piece is fired four to six times through the kiln, or until I get the results I’m looking for.
In my mixed media work, I am often inspired by the mundane, recycled, or rejected materials that one might not consider expected in art-making. Many of these found objects are searched for in craft stores and junkyards, and others are collected as I come upon them or are harvested from my home garden. Some of these materials are used immediately, while others get shelved or are used when they find their “mate” within my collection. Drawn to these lesser valued materials, I am inspired to elevate their assumed worth by changing their context in the same way that I am trying to elevate our importance to our relationship to Nature.
In my painting and drawing work, I choose to build my own box-frames as I feel this speaks to the importance of traditional craftsmanship, similarly in the way that clay does with its roots in craft (vs. art). Because my hand is in the process from the beginning, they become more of an object and sculptures to me, more so than just paintings. I work with both aerosol (spray paint) and archival based oils together, each suggesting different elevations in art-making. Aerosol speaks to the urban environment and graffitti, while the oils speak to tradition and “high art”, again questioning the ideas of where the values are placed. Aerosol allows me to work in layers of transparency, using large stencils that I cut from hand-drawn geometric patterns. The stencil allows me to alter and explore in the same way that plaster molds do, moving them around in between each layer to reveal a new set of patterns and geometric sequences. When I work with these alternate materials, I find that it offers me with a fresh perspective and often provides solutions to my ceramic work. Each discipline has its own set of limitations and rules and inevitably informs the other in ways that I wouldn’t anticipate.