My interest lies in the connection between people and the functional objects in their lives. The work is a depiction of the internal struggle of a functional vessel like a jar or teapot attempting to function but unable to because of the abject presence it exudes: fleshy orifices and appendages resembling humanoid features. When an inanimate object possesses tactile features similar to our own, it creates an uncanny and unsettling effect. There is a hesitation to engage with the functionality of the pot where utility is hindered or deemed compromised. There is an internal struggle within the viewer as they navigate the ambiguous identities of these objects.
The fascination of the functional rendered non-functional is in part centered around my fathers slowly declining health. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a neurological disorder due to damaged nerve cells in the brain that slows or hinders movement, speech, swallowing,and other important functions of the human body. My father’s disease is one example of how my work has personified a pot to a point of showing the entropy the body has when disease or disorder takes hold. Witnessing a retired English professor like my father struggle with speech is reflected in my pots that struggle to properly work in the way they were designed but cannot. My work is left in a constant state of limbo due to its physical presence.
Creating something out of nothing like using raw materials to make a piece of art is one of the most profound ideas. Sometimes I get so caught up in the alterations of the vessel that I teeter the line of non-functionality, and this excites me. What intrigues me about the making of my pots is the constant reverse problem solving to teeter said non-functionality. As an artist I love that clay has this ability to disguise itself as familiar surfaces such as skin, metal, water, or wood. Clay is one of the few things in life I feel I can actually control. Working with ceramics allows me to communicate in a non-verbal way that humanizes or personifies the pot. As a maker I am naturally drawn to functional ware because of the constant attention and human interaction it requires to work.