My mission as an artist is to first create a coherent visual language, and then learn to speak in that language. My core inspiration is a love of minimalist archetypal forms that reflect the geometries of nature. I am all about designing forms and making objects.
The current project started during the pandemic lockdown, an unplanned break that gave me the time and space to explore new ideas. This new work is a synthesis of disparate life experiences: a decade of making ceramic vessels, combined with echoes of my previous career as a 3D graphics hardware design engineer.
This project takes me full circle, returning to a focus on form over pattern. I am using algorithmic 3D software to design a series of objects that are inspired by Japanese paper folding. Many of these forms are designed to balance on the folds — when set on a flat surface they rock back and forth, naturally settling into their inherent point of equilibrium.
My work is slipcast paper-thin translucent porcelain, often colored with delicate soluble metal watercolors — I am especially drawn to cobalt blue, a reference to the ineffable blue of water and distance. I think of these objects as containers for light and atmosphere.
A note on color:
My clay body is either white or black porcelain. I use color sparingly, and when I do, it is always with water soluble metallic salts. These colorants are special: since they dissolve directly in water, I can paint them on the bisque-fired clay.
As the metal salts soak into the porous clay body, they move and interact with each other. And during the drying process, they naturally gradate and concentrate on the edges, highlighting the folds and ridges of my forms. This property is what gives my work an ethereal quality.
In the vitrification firing, the final color develops and becomes a permanent part of the surface. It is a bit like putting watercolors directly into the porcelain.
At present, I am currently using just three metal salts on my work: Gold, Cobalt, and Chromium, which give various shades of red, blue, and green.
I have Norwegian ceramist Arne Åse to thank for inventing and documenting this process in his excellent book Water Colour on Porcelain.