My Meticulous Approach
Over the years I have been called a perfectionist by many. While I do not entirely disagree with this characterization, I prefer a different term – meticulous. In fact, this is how I would sum up my work if I was asked to describe it in a word. To me, meticulous means skipping no steps and I suppose it also means taking time to precisely craft those actual steps.
My methods of preparation, both physical and mental, centering, and pulling are refined to a point. I tolerate no time, energy, or clay being wasted during the six or seven days a week that I find myself in the studio. It would be remiss of me to not mention the necessity of discipline as well. Internalizing a controlled form of behavior in the studio is fundamental to success.
Call it a sprinkling of OCD or call it taking pride in my work, whatever. The point is that I am, and always have been, precise. Which frankly can get absolutely exhausting. I can never do anything casually, particularly when I’m in the studio. It’s all or nothing and if I’m not going to work to my standards then I may as well not even be there. That being said, this mindset has afforded me something extraordinarily unique: the ability to create ceramic forms that few others are capable of making. Here is a product of this mindset, a vase made of black stoneware with white slip and glass.
I have been this way for as long as I can remember. One of my earlier memories of extreme meticulousness was during second or third grade doing an arts and crafts project in school. We were doing a collage project on Native American culture where the class drew objects on construction paper and then cut them out. After I finished my first drawing, my teacher came over to show my partner and I how to use the “big boy scissors”. She did a cut moderately close to the lines of my drawing but left a good deal of blank space between my drawing and the edge of the paper. This made me rather uncomfortable and as soon as she wasn’t looking I made my own cut going directly along the line of my drawing.
A Dialogue with Form
A huge aspect of ceramics is finding balance through stability. The unique methods through which I work serve as a means of transferring force to areas that can take the strain.
When a ceramic piece is complete, it sits still, with a certain unmistakable finality. Undeniably evident in the final form however is a record of movement and change. I am ever ready to be participant in this exchange, this dialogue with clay on it’s journey to becoming a beautiful completed vessel.
Ceramics celebrates the century’s old practice of moving clay to shape the useful, the beautiful, and the timeless.
Ceramics is not rocket science – it simply does not require the same degree of precision – but the contact between hands and clay, body and form, mandates great attention to action and reaction. In my practice with clay I am keen to zone in on this very relationship and take advantage of the fact that I am at least sometimes in control.
Precision over accuracy, awareness over exactness. The clay is talking and revealing, and I am carefully listening, watching, and reacting.
When a ceramic piece is complete, it sits still, with a certain unmistakable finality. Undeniably evident in the final form however is a record of movement and change. I am ever ready to be participant in this exchange, this dialogue with clay on it’s journey to becoming a beautiful completed vessel with a life of its own.
Ceramics celebrates the century’s old practice of moving clay to shape the useful, the attractive and timeless. I am more and more ever aware of this relationship to history that is carried from vessel to vessel, maker to maker.
My trip to Korea provided many such eye opening experiences that have helped me to better understand my connection to clay and ceramics. Learn more.