While I will be graduating with a degree in graphic design this spring, my path has led me towards exploring the world of ceramics. In ceramics courses, the process of using my hands to create the vessel of my work became an extremely rewarding and satisfying feeling/outlet that I wanted to continue to pursue. My studies in graphics, however, has aided me in my ceramic’s creations. I see this as a two-step process, the first being creating the 3-D base in sculpting, then second, applying the 2-D details, which is where graphic design comes into play.
My 23-inch-tall sculpture was soda fired using multiple cone 10 glazes that were poured to create natural flows that would follow and accentuate surface textures. When they overlapped with each other, each glaze developed its own unique color and transparency depending on where it hit at the time of being fired. The structure was hand-built using coils without a pre-planned route of construction. I worked with the slab of clay from the base up, while pulling from influences of natural texture and curves, for example, as found in caves formed by waves and other elemental impacts. In addition to inspiration from the natural world, Antoni Gaudi’s architecture was another influence in my piece. His buildings seem to simulate the natural curves found in its environment and grow with it.
It was important to me to create a piece that was made with as much spontaneity and natural flow of creation that exists in our environments. The process of creating this piece was therapeutic as I tried not to force the clay, rather work with it’s natural tendencies and flow. For the past two years, I have been interested in the study of Flow Theory. This theory taps into the idea of letting go and simply allowing your subconscious to take control of the creative process. This sculpture is the product of allowing myself to tap into the knowledge base I have built in this field over the last few years, while also allowing my subconscious to dictate how I would work with the clay.