Ceramic history plays an influential role in my ceramic work: its forms, processes, and domestic and cultural evolution. Functional and sculptural historic forms are revisited, revived and re-contextualized, ranging from centerpieces and oyster plates, to tulipieres and figurines. My work alternates between creating ceramic objects for the home and making pieces that comment on the role these objects play in the domestic environment. While grounded in the history of the ceramic tabletop object, the work subverts idealizations commonly associated with the forms they reference.
A recent body of figurines evolved out of living in Virginia, a place where controversial confederate statues have been prolific and their futures heatedly debated. Driving by these monuments for years led to a figurine series where I imagined soldiers’ mounts creating new self-created identities, free of their lives in the statues. New day-dreamed identities were captured in gestural, roughly-hewn, set-like architectural environs. These pieces evolved into the most recent series: commemorative vases marking the removal of General Lee’s monument, the last to be removed on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
A constant in the work is my exploration of the material qualities of clay, glaze, and other media. I’m interested in how ceramics can record its own creation, how a moment in time can be captured in a gesture, a throw line, or in a glaze drip. Traditional techniques are often combined with craft store materials and other mass-produced media. Within the work, the centuries lost Roman formula for terra sigillata gets placed next to glitter from China; the historic majolica glaze, invented to try to make earthenware look like porcelain, is layered with commercial hobby glazes, luster, white duct tape, and homemade and cut-up floral decals from eBay.