Clay has been a fascination of mine since I first laid hands on it since high school. I knew I found my calling when that first piece came out the kiln. When starting a project I start with a basic form. The piece only becomes apparent when it’s complete. I mainly do hand-built work and have started venturing off into thrown work. I like to mainly make utilitarian pieces. I like knowing my pieces will be used, makes it that much more intimate.
An octopus and sea creatures recently influenced me. So they became the imagery I chose for the platter series I created. The octopus influenced me because it can contort itself any way it wants just like I can with clay, after some coaxing. A deceptively weak looking creature but is strong. Some people have thought working with clay would be easy, but learn it’s a deceptively fickle medium.
I made three hand-built platters that fit together to make one huge circular platter. I made a pizza slice looking mold. I then made a slab and draped it into the mold. I did this three times out of the same mold. All the feet were extruded from an extruder. I made these platters out of terracotta. I did this because I wanted to use the Majolica glaze method. I love the bright color palette the Majolica provides. It was like I was painting on canvas. Majolica allowed me to create depth I wouldn't have gotten using a high fire glaze. Islamic potters first created majolica, a white tin-glaze, during the Middle Ages. Influenced by Chinese porcelain, which they didn’t have, Majolica allowed them to fake it. But it was in Italy during the Renaissance that Majolica became popular.
Working with clay has provided me with many challenges. The challenge of figuring out how to implement an idea. And of course the challenge of the glaze might or might not come out the way I want it. The possibility of having cracks form in the drying process out of nowhere. I know it will give me more to come. I look forward to the challenges and frustrations. The end result when a piece comes from the kiln will be that much more sweet.