I am very conscious of the intimacy that my lips and cup share while drinking my favorite black tea in the morning. My goal as a potter is to create comfortable and simple utilitarian ceramics that invite the user to use them in their everyday eating and drinking rituals. I make ceramics because I want to create an experience between the user and the pot that is similar to coming home after a long time away.
Pots have the potential to have a voice and withhold their own personality. I want my pots to have a comforting and warm voice along with a casual and playful personality, which I find to be a reflection of my own self.
I chose to make pots with the user in mind and I believe in efficiently creating affordable pots where the user is not afraid to use it. I would view my pots as a failure if I found out that someone purchased one of my functional pots and it ended up collecting dust on a book case, never being used. My work is at its very best when it has ended up in a cluttered dish rack after a meal. It might even possibly be scarred by a few chips or cracks from repetitive use.
Simple, quiet, generous, and substantial are all adjectives that I find to reflect my work. I choose to throw my pots on a treadle wheel where I can effortlessly throw at a slow pace. The marks that the slow pace of the wheel produces are fresh, natural and fluid. I am in love with the lazy lines that seem to dance up the pots. I choose to make my pots with a substantial weight because that creates a presence in ones’ hands. Clay is naturally a heavy material therefore I want to stay true to it and embrace its qualities.
As a maker, I believe that my role is to suggest what the clay does versus to control the clay. I find comfort in letting the clay have its own expression where as my role is to merely a suggest form, space, and volume. I let the textures and plasticity of the clay along with my firing techniques speak in my work. To me, clay and its impurities are to be celebrated for their natural beauty therefore should not be covered up and clothed by a heavy, opaque glaze.
By keeping my pots simple in form and surface, they then transform into a stage for the food that is being served. I rely on a subtle color palette that is produced when wood ash, soda, and salt are combined. The neutral colors produced on the surface of my pots act as a backdrop that complements vibrant greens of fresh green beans once placed in one of my bowls. I find great pleasure in the eating and drinking experience and I am motivated to make that experience more unique and enjoyable for the user through the use of my pots.
I have always found history to have significant influence on my work. The modest surfaces and simple forms of Shigaraki, Bizen, and Tanba ware are all qualities that I have always strived to achieve in my own work. The forms of those ancient Japanese pots seem to challenge the idea that the walls of pots need to be symmetrical. To me the uneven structures of those pots create a presence of the maker.
I have a fascination with specificity of the object. I enjoy when things are called casserole dishes, malt cups, or salad plates because I get to ask myself what makes them specific for only that use? What makes those pots so special that they can only be used for one function? I find a certain amount of empowerment as an artist when I make a pot that have a specific use when in reality the user can do whatever they please with the pot.