My work focuses in 3D material with an emphasis on clay. I explore the dichotomy of what humans value and what humans destroy by magnifying the connections between people and the nearby ecology we often overlook. I integrate handbuilding, wheel throwing, and slip casting and experiment with high and low fire glazes to control textures and colors with different types of clay. I use a variety of earth tones along with iridescent pops of color that can only be seen after close examination. Hidden treasures in nature persist and can be found if we take the time to look. By transforming disregarded, endangered, and unattractive microflora and fauna into large, functional ceramic forms, I elevate their intrinsic value.
Driven by current sustainability efforts, my work serves as an activist tool that calls attention to what is lost or forgotten. By making my pieces place-specific, I critique the mental models of our industrialized, technology-dominated, throwaway society. For example, recently I created geometric geodes that encase dioramas of South Carolina’s endangered species, which I titled Let’s Bulldoze It. The carefully crafted dioramas are contrasted with the harsh title, inviting the viewer to reconsider their environmental impact which is often influenced by what society values and devalues.
The use of elements fitting together to produce a whole form symbolizes relationships that create synergistic community within a system. Stacked clusters of vibrant slip cast forms representing the segments of an ant, for example, show their strength and connectedness. My work reveals a beautiful organic world and a structured synthetic world by pairing natural forms with geometric design. These sculptures emphasize detail and utilize negative space to create focal points. For example, large handles with insect-like attachments highlight insects’ minuteness as well as importance.
By using place-specific ecology, I highlight connections between people and aspects of their environment that are often overlooked. Thus, serving as an educational and activist tool, challenging society’s values and actions.