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My early work was sculptural, with inspiration from memories of my childhood and my natural surroundings. Growing up with the beauty of West Virginia, as well as summers spent on the South Carolina coast, fueled the narratives and surfaces of my work. While I always made pots as gifts for family and friends, it wasn’t until graduate school that I started to incorporate wheel thrown vessels into my hand built sculptural work. It was at this time that the lines between my sculptural and functional work started to blur. I began to push the limits of the material to achieve the desired record of the movement of my hands on the surface of the clay, relying more on the wheel to create my work. Clay as a material is perfect in that the record of its softness always remains, retaining the permanent imprint of my hands. I found this to be especially true with the wheel, which brought about a shift in my thinking. The movement from sculptural to functional was also beginning since I had become a mother. With my focus now being on my family, caring for and feeding them became paramount.  Ideas of pots that we need daily just flooded into my thoughts. The antique dishes that I was surrounded by as a child serve as a treasure trove of forms to explore.  Ideas derived  from previously explored surfaces and techniques in my sculptural work transfer to the everyday objects that I create for my family. The colors and textures from my natural surroundings become my surfaces. Whether it is sculpture or a pot, it speaks of where I am in my life and what fills my thoughts.  I work in clay because I love the way it feels in my hands.  I make pots to be used and enjoyed by my family and any others who want to welcome something handmade into their day. This is why I make things.

 

artist statement