Bare gnarly branches, deep grooved bark, long silent walks in the woods with the pine needle carpet under foot, moss and lichen spreading across the rocks. Weathered landscapes with jagged rock formations, tide pools with barnacles, brown seaweed pods, sand rivulets carved by the receding tide. These are the wonders of my childhood. The smell of salt as you approach the ocean, the cool pine of the forest and the nose twitching smell of manure that tells you there is a farm around the next bend. The rustic barn with the musty smell of unstirred air, poking about, finding old tools worn rusty brown and the delight of discovery as an old oak chest, worn with time is uncovered in a forgotten corner.
"Unpretentious, earthy, murky, simple… Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."
“Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers”, by Leonard Koren
In flow, the wet fluid motion of the clay spinning through my hands, I allow it to influence and inform me, letting go as in partnership we create. I play with the form, pulling, stretching, lifting - vessel verses sculpture - working to teeter on the edge of both, pushing the viewer to question and see more. I contemplate the form, the negative space, shadow, yin and yang. I further develop the surface texture with marks and slip, working to catch the irregular, random wabi-sabi essence.
I spray the bisqued forms with copper, wrapped and splattered then tumble stacked into a trashcan with natural combustibles: dried leaves, sawdust, plants, copper, and salt. Matches struck, flames roar into a blaze that peaks and is covered with a lid. This smokes, slowly burning down through the can while the porous clay carbon traps, adding a rich unique finish to each piece. The contrasts of textures, the matte smoke trapped surface against the crackle glaze, the marks, lines, and faint smell of smoke hold my interest. The resulting wabi-sabi aesthetic, irregularly different, looking weathered and worn as if aged, catching the passage of time and the idea that nothing stays the same.