Growth patterns, textures, and organic forms derived from nature constantly inspire my works of art. Working with clay allows me to fully engage in the process with my mind and body. The material presents daily challenges that exercise mental and physical health, making the clay more compelling to work with. Through repetition of the same movement muscle memory is created. This allows one to do a task with little to no conscious effort, unlocking the subconscious mind. Clay is very plastic in character allowing it to be formed into any shape. The material has many inherent properties, part of the process is to harness these properties to celebrate and create a more natural process. The creative process and repetition of reproducing textures are rewarding because it allows me to find subconscious meaning through the conscious act of creating. Working with clay provides a direct connection to nature which allows me to feel more wholesome about the work. The beauty and strength of nature are astonishing to me. The strength of fungi pushing through a pile of decaying leaves or a blade of grass growing through a small crack in the sidewalk just shows how powerful nature can be. Intentions within the current works aim to induce the same fascination about nature.
Forms part of the Evoking Beauty series show fungal formations in a variety of shapes, textures, and colors emerging through luscious, highly saturated, green moss that is growing out of the cracks on the long narrow neck vessels. The wheel-thrown mixed media vessels stand between 13-17 inches in height and are made up of stoneware and preserved moss. To mimic the natural qualities of something you may find on the forest floor, real preserved moss is applied to the vessels. Moss is one of the oldest living organisms on the planet and has managed to adapt to the changing environment for over 400 million years. The fungi have long thin stems hanging off the vessels in hopes to create natural movement during the firing process. The cracked linear movement on the vessels are trail maps of some of my favorite hikes located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Each bottle is titled after the specific trail map that was used.
While sometimes it is hard for us to get outside and have a connection with nature due to our fast-paced lives and the growing use of technology, I hope to spark that connection by creating something that looks as if it was growing right from the forest floor. I want the viewer to experience the beauty, serenity, strength, and relationship with nature even if it’s just for a moment.