Focusing in 3D material with an emphasis on clay, I explore the dichotomy between what humans value and destroy by magnifying the connections between people and the nearby ecology we often overlook. By acknowledging the earth that holds us, my work represents the interaction between natural elements being held and the material that holds them. I integrate handbuilding, wheel throwing, and slip casting and experiment with high and mid 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, sometimes unattractive microflora and fauna into sculptural ceramic forms, I elevate their intrinsic value by framing them and emphasizing size, color, and intricacy. The use of elements fitting together to produce a whole form symbolizes relationships that create symbiotic community within a system.
Driven by current sustainability efforts such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, my work serves as an activist tool that calls attention to what is lost or forgotten. By making my pieces specific to a geographical location, I expose and critique the mental models of our industrialized throwaway society. Recently I created handheld geometric geodes that encase dioramas of eight of South Carolina’s endangered species, titled Let’s Bulldoze It. Fine detail, vibrant color, and the sprawling scale of the assembled piece add importance to the flora and fauna that are discarded, overlooked, and destroyed for urban development in South Carolina. The carefully crafted dioramas contrast with the harsh title, inviting the viewer to reconsider their own environmental impact which is often influenced by what society values (growth, profit, consumption) and devalues. My work reveals a beautiful organic world and a structured synthetic world by pairing natural forms with geometric design.
My craft includes careful research on the natural elements I incorporate. The viewer should feel welcome to examine the delicacy and detail in my work, found only by close-looking. This relationship between the viewer and the piece sparks curiosity and challenges society’s values and actions.