Lafayette Clayworks

Artist Statement


From the beginning, my Art has given me a way of exploring ritual and relationship.  In my pots, my mode of working is to combine details that can easily be accomplished in fabrics that initially “engaged” my interest, translating those details into clay. This process of transforming vessels from simple containers to characters in their own stories intrigues me.  The idea has captured my imagination and is currently the basis for this series of works. 

I am drawn to forms that are meant to be held and to imagined conversations between the creations and the beholders.   I am attracted to the utilitarian function that the pottery fills and the self satisfaction of creating something from an idea that stitching gives me.  Sewing leads me to pay attention to personal detail. 

These pots are more whimsical sculptures than functional vessels.  I especially love cups because - they are small and beautiful and can be held entirely in one’s hand.  For me, that act of holding initiates a relationship and symbolizes a ritual is about to start.  

I use a Celtic symbol, a tiny swirl, that represents family, life or growth.  The Celtic symbol of the human experience also indicates the growth of the life of a piece of clay in the hand of the potter on the wheel.  My forms become characters in a story.  Pots have “feet” and a “belly”.  I think about each piece as a human form rather than a ceramic form and try to realize that the spirit of a pot is not only in the solemn ritual of a ceremony but in the rituals of everyday living.  Inspirations come directly from people I have met and the situations that I have experienced.  I am attempting to give life to these vessels as the Celtic spiral placed on them indicated. 

Details of human traits or particular clothing features become compositional elements repeated with variations throughout the vessels in this series.  The shapes are manipulated and used in conjunction with elements such as pockets or ties or skirts.  Handles become arms that are tucked into pockets.  Potentially the cup from which the viewer gulps his coffee in the morning rush could be a vessel with its tie appearing to be blowing in the wind of the user’s exodus.  Many of my cups are standing on feet of their own but many also bow and bend on the top of their saucer, clothed in formal attire each piece taking on a personality of its own.  These pieces are not what anyone would consider traditional pottery but they are vessels produced using traditional techniques reflecting stories and people whom I have met or imagined.  Each piece is intended to be light-hearted and amusing.  They are forms that I respond to and enjoy laughing with.            As an artist, I am also constantly striving to have my work speak to the viewer through a smile. 


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