Opening April 10th, 6 pm
I started doing pottery six years ago by first taking classes at Ruby's Clay Studio and Gallery in the Castro. Since then, pottery has allowed me to tap into an artistic side, which I could only guess under layers of analytical processing and scientific rigor. I followed a purely scientific track in school, ultimately obtaining a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and I have since then been working as a research medicinal chemist first in the pharmaceutical industry and now at a not for profit organization. While I could sense I had something inside of me that was sensitive and responsive to form, shape, and color, it was not until I became more proficient at the pottery wheel that I realized that I had discovered a medium through which I could channel my personal sense of esthetics and express my creativity and artistic side.
I base my pottery work on form first and then on utility. I feel that a vase, a kitchen utensils holder, or even a simple bowl should be beautiful on its own, sitting on a table or a shelf. I create pieces that should be part of your surroundings, not hidden in a cabinet while not in use. Because shapes are at the core of my work, my glazing tends to be discrete, while still playing a crucial role in the overall look and feel of the final product. I always create pieces with some raw clay showing as I feel that using clay only as a building material is too limiting and almost disrespectful. I see a lot of beauty in the raw fired clay by itself and I think it should always be a visible part of a piece, even contributing to its overall design.
This group of work started four years ago when I became interested in cylindrical pieces with combed ridges on them, a time that my husband calls my Soviet Screws Period. When I got bored making screws, I started experimenting with new shapes, still keeping the cylinder as the core form. I was particularly inspired by the Carnaby series of mid-century modern hand-blown glass by a Danish company called Holmegaard. I really liked the beauty of the bold lines, shapes, and colors, and I wanted to see if I could reproduce some of the same ideas in clay.
Unfortunately, the horizontal lines of the Holmegaard pieces were impossible to reproduce at the wheel as I was never able to pull the clay completely out without seeing it collapse because of lack of wall support. After many attempts and failures, I ultimately managed to create my own interpretation of some of the shapes of the Carnaby pieces, such as these two vases, the first two pieces of this group of work ever made.
Over the last few months, I added to the original design many variations and new creations. Overall, I created about 70 pieces. I am very excited to have the opportunity to show most of them at Gravel & Gold. In this installation, each vase, kitchen utensils holder, planter, bowl, or serving dish is unique but it is also part of a larger group of circles and vertical and horizontal lines all unified by one theme, the dark color of the exposed clay and the varying hues of a blue glaze.
I hope you will enjoy seeing my work and using my pieces of pottery as much as I did creating and making them.