My research studies the interdisciplinary practice of crossing over techniques from one
tradition to another. The results are objects that are visually mistaken for the "real",
but closer inspection reveals them to be made of fired clay. I do not intend to trick the
eye but to draw attention to how such ubiquitous household objects are made. A ceramic chair
highlights how chairs are made rather than how they are used. My pieces are philosophical
gestures, which lead one to question both what they are and what the divisions are between
"real" things and representations, between art and craft and manufactured things. In addition,
I am applying wood working methods to clay, to expand the range of ceramic techniques.
I want my ceramic objects to provoke questions such as: What is the relationship between the
material of an object and form of an object? How do we determine this? Is there a middle
ground, and if it does exist, what should it be called?
While I find these questions intriguing, I am primarily interested in making ceramic pieces
using woodworking techniques. I want to produce an object that is exactly the same size and
shape as the original. I also want to push the boundaries of clay technology without losing
the wonderful characteristics that it can express. I do not want to diminish ceramic traditions,
but rather to increase the language of ceramic craft. As well, I would like to demonstrate
how a precision-made ceramic object like a chair can confuse one's perception of what a
chair is and of what an artist can do with clay.
Though my sculptures resemble the "real" thing, they are not duplicates. They copy the forms
and methods used in the construction of these look a like, but do not have
finishes. I do not want to trick the eye, only to confuse it. I prefer to lead the viewers
to identify with the clay, which in turn causes them to question the object's functional
quality. I am also stressing that there is a way to perceive functional objects other than
visually. My ceramic pieces disallow the viewer from using their visual senses to determine
if it is real or not. The viewers are then made to use their tactile senses. However, if
the observers have no past experiences with these objects, then how do they interpret what
my sculptures are, especially when the art gallery does not allow for physical engagement?
As the result, the observer is forced to debate it philosophically.