Whether empty or full, whole or broken in pieces, ceramic vessels reflect history and cultural practices. My ongoing fascination with ceramic ware, ranging from vessel forms created in antiquity to contemporary works, is rooted in my interest in revealing the beauty found in the mundane. My curiosity and delight in exploring the quiet beauty of what many might consider “ordinary” vessels has led me to use ceramic vessel forms as resources for my work from across cultures: Korean jars and cups, Roman storage urns, pierced pots of Finland, Japanese tea bowls, and black on black Native American pottery.
The universality of ceramic vessel forms, particularly cups, intrigues me because the process of creation has remained unchanged across time and cultures: Dirt, manipulated by human hands, is hardened with fire, created to serve the purpose of containment. The size and the functional aspects of cups and vessels span from everyday use to ritual ceremony. But cups in particular reflect an intimacy associated with the object itself—scaled for hands to hold, to pass, to share, to carry up to lips and mouth, to nourish, to provide what is contained within.
My fascination with vessels and cups has led me on an unexpected journey in employing ceramic vessel shapes as subjects in my paintings, prints and mixed media works for two decades. My most recent series revolves around utilizing cup forms as building blocks to focus on pattern, repetition, surface, and form in my work. Using the accumulation of layers and marks, with the cup form serving as both anchor and departure point, I am interested in investigating the space between representation and abstraction. Underlying my work is also my attempt to capture a sense of nostalgia for the quiet objects that are often overlooked in everyday life, the beauty found in the mundane.