There are two distinct elements to the Surrounded exhibition. Surrounding the work in the center of the room is a series of 50 porcelain bowls, each made from Continental Clay’s grolleg porcelain body, and each glazed with Fred Olsen’s Shino glaze for woodfire. Each bowl is thrown and altered in the same way. Each bowl is made from the same material and glazed with the same glaze. Then each was sent to a woodfirer in each of the 50 states. Like us, each started out in the same form, but it was the experience that followed that changed its path. Each of the woodfirers has documented his or her firing, giving us the experience of knowing something of the bowl’s experience. Some outcomes are the results of accidents, some are the results of the types of wood used, the lengths of the firings, and other variable factors. Each is the result of unique experiences, making up their differences.
The body of work that is surrounded by the bowls is an example of my current studio practice. Boxes surround and protect several of the pieces, making it easier for them to withstand the rigors of travel. Others are more exposed, surrounded only by their peers. This work is about excess and constraint. I work with the clay as if in conversation with it, discovering what the clay has to say in response to my hand. And I push the forms to balance the need for fluidity and stability.