My artwork, an amalgam of vessel and industrial artifact, is full of irony-handsome replicas of manmade objects, soft clay renderings of metal objects aged and impotent reminders of a once powerful age. The toil and gasoline cans represent the machinery that once threatened to devalue the work of human beings. Now they seem just like the hardworking humans they served – stoic, dignified, straightforward, but plumb wore out. The usefulness of machines in their original states is limited – as the products of progress, they are doomed to obsolescence – but by recreating them in a “primitive” medium, I believe they will endure through the ages. They have been transformed for eternity into art. In this way, too, I have taken the aesthetic and political ugliness out of industry, reminding everyone that chance can be both hurtful/traumatic and positive/healing. Once again underscoring the power of art to uplift the human condition.
By firing the oil and gas cans in my anagama kiln, I am convinced that instead of merely heating the clay, the flame and ash have the capacity to alter and enhance my clay cans. The etched surface, created by sustained three to five day firing, imbues a “poetic” richness. What an interesting conspiracy: man/woman, clay and fire.