Photo by Kevin J. Thomson

Photo by Kevin J. Thomson

I make sculptural vessels as a response to exploring what it means to have a body. The tactility and bodily nature of clay lends itself to the exploration of form, allowing me to work intuitively as I respond moment by moment to the thoughts and sensations that arise in my own body. 

Working primarily with stoneware, I utilise slow hand-building techniques like pinching and coiling in the process of making. Drawn to the meditative quality of these processes, I am particularly influenced by Zen Buddhism whereby the analytical mind is put aside in the moment of making in favour of the intuitive mind and the phenomenological experience of clay. 

The surface of the vessels are either glazed in a palette of whites, natural earthy tones or left unglazed to show the raw body of the clay. Adopting a neutral palette allows the formal sculptural quality of the pieces to stand out, and also emphasises the bodily connection of the vessels to the earth, and to the body.

My fascination with making vessels as a means of expression is integrally linked with my belief in the body as a sacred vessel. When I approach making with this in mind, I appreciate the wonderful diversity of forms that emerge and go easy on the flaws and inaccuracies, accepting them as the beautiful idiosyncrasies that make each body unique.

As a maker, the process of hand building can take hours, days, and even weeks to unfold. In this time, a special relationship develops between the vessel and I, a blending of energies in which the conscious and subconscious mind expresses itself in every curve, nuance and mark on the clay body. The finished work that results is an expression of this intimate relationship, a unity of mind and matter between the vessel and the maker.

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