I am always searching for the core reason of why ceramics is so important to me. What is the reason behind this committment? What is the nature of containment? What is my personal concept of beauty, and why are pottery forms specificly so precious to me?
Holding, protecting, preserving, presenting: containment. It keeps us safe and alive. Containment can be seen on a vast or intimate scale. It can be imagined in the immense layer of atmosphere around our planet. It can consist of the fragile covering of a cell. Both nature and culture have devised intriguing methods to preserve what is precious.
In nature, pods, wombs, shells, and seeds are the ultimate pots. Their form derives from the contents within, and this ‘contained’ determines the exterior form. Nature holds its most important commodities safe in the world’s most beautiful and functional containers!
In culture, the potters of classical Greece devised a form known as a loutrophoros, a ceremonial vase for water. The loutrophoros is like an attenuated amphora. It is one of the most long-lived shapes in attic vase making, which speaks to the importance and continuity of the rituals in which it was used. A loutrophoros would contain water for a woman’s nuptual bath. Unlike any other Greek painting on pots, images from the loutrophoros depict the lives of women during the classical period between 430 and 420 BCE. We are given a rare glimpse into the realities of brides, women in domestic settings, and women at their leisure. These pots are for me both holders of the essential element of water and also keepers of the symbols of the woman as a life bearer. Most interesting to me is the fact that they served both as ceremonial wedding vessels and grave markers for women who died unmarried.
How do such diverse sources as seedpods and classical Greek terracotta converge into a body of contemporary ceramic work? I throw and press my terracotta into geometric forms, then collage them, keeping my sources in the back of my mind while pushing the relationships forward into being. Pitchers, trays, jars, and bowls are spliced from the study. The highest goal of the work is to infuse joy and celebration into our daily rituals of protection and regeneration at table.