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My work reinterprets traditional vessels originally designed for
common utilitarian and industrial applications with function
rather than beauty in mind. Today, such vessels often seem beautiful, underscoring the way function informs aesthetics
history of utilitarian ware.
The coil-built vessels are
inspired by storage jars and jugs from medieval Japanese, ancient Aegean, and
Early American sources, while the slab-built work comes from common
Industrial storage and pouring vessels such as gas and oil cans. I am
intrigued by the
products of pre-industrial itinerant tinsmiths, who
worked in flat planes and simple curves, with an occasional shallow-domed lid.
Using only the most basic portable metalworking tools, they managed complex articulated
forms. I explore similar forms in clay using soft- and stiff-slab construction methods.
Surface treatment combines laminated colored clay patterns, pre-textured slabs,
and plain unornamented clay, offering a rich mix of color and texture. With the exception
of the two "patchwork tsubos," all pieces are soda-fired to cone 6.
The "oil can" storage and pouring vessels each feature a wire
bail handle with a wood grip. In most cases I use iron wire treated
with vinegar to promote rust, and then sealed with furniture wax.
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