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 are prolific and their futures are heatedly debated. Driving by these monuments every day, I thought about the different components of the monuments, in particular, the soldiers’ mounts. In my work they seek to create new self-created identities, free of their current lives. What new sculptural environs might the horses wish for themselves if they could? In my work, they’ve escaped what they’ve been, for what I imagine they secretly yearn to be. New day-dreamed identities are captured in gestural, roughly-hewn, set-like architectural environs. Hopeful and yearning, the forms also reveal the artificiality of their fantasy. Typically the ceramic figurine resides in a pastoral scene, an idealized view of the natural world. My pieces, while grounded in the history of the ceramic figurine, subvert idealizations commonly associated with this milieu.
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.