I have harbored a love of art dating back to my early childhood. This interest persisted through high school and afterwards in college with ceramics. In 2002 I became a respiratory therapist and practiced in the medical field for a total of 10 years in both Little Rock Arkansas and San Francisco California. My path back to ceramics began at a small clay studio in Northern California in 2009. I returned to Little Rock in 2010, and took a wheel throwing class at the Arkansas Art Center as a creative outlet. Following the encouragement of my class instructor, Kelly Edwards, I took an independent study wheel throwing class at UALR, and shortly after began working on my MA with an emphasis in studio art in ceramics.
The vessels in this installation have been positioned tightly to allow the viewer’s eyes to scan the rims creating an implied, moving landscape. Soda-fired porcelain provides a more transparent and watery look to the surfaces. The soft curves on the tops of vessels glint with silver luster and mimic peaks and waves of an ocean or the rolling of grass in a field.
My original jumping-off point for this installation of bottles was my love of Hayao Miyazaki’s magical animated films. I considered mimicking the potion bottles in the background of different scenes of his movies. From there I moved onto different shapes of vessels that were used in antique apothecaries.
Two contemporary potters that influenced my techniques on form are Beth Lambert, an instructor and studio potter in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Eric Landon an instructor and studio potter in Copenhagen, Denmark. Beth Lambert’s effortless looking forms made me pay attention to how each part of a functional piece relates to its other parts and form as a whole. Eric Landon’s pots have encouraged me to focus on the elegant lines of a shape and allow for naturally waved rims.
During bottle production I learned how to pay attention to the lift of the foot from a surface, the angle created by the shoulders of the bottles, and the curve of the neck-line. I was careful to make sure the neck of the bottle leaned out slightly and that the rim was allowed to wave easily. In finishing the bottles, I smoothed and rounded the edges with my fingers and used a hard rib to sure the surfaces completely. The last step was lifting the edge of the bottom of the bottle to give it a soft slant.
The light color of the porcelain combined with the variety of colors obtained from the soda firing recall the sea and field inspirations for the grouping. Groupings of vessels to make a larger form joined together with waving bottle rims helped me see how my past work has laid a foundation for my present work. The studies of contemporary potters that appreciate the simplistic beauty of form inspired me to place emphasis on each subtle aspects of a vessel to create a well-studied form.
Role Artist in Residence
For Solo Show at the Arkansas Art Center
Date 6/2016 – 9/2016