My work has really started to change this year and I’ve been looking at it next to the previous years’ work and trying to ask some questions and find some answers. Here is what I’ve come up with.
I used to cover every inch of the clay with surface decoration so you couldn’t even tell it was red earthenware hiding underneath. I used to try and make perfect slip transfers to retain the original quality of the print. I built using slabs and various tools so my hands hardly ever touched the clay for fear of smearing the printed surface. Fear, hiding, perfection. Hmmm… doesn’t sound very fun, does it?
This year I have begun to loosen up with my work. I still print and transfer onto the surface but now it’s okay if the print smears. I actually like seeing the red clay showing through the surface. I alter the surface so that it becomes more my own. I pinch the clay after it’s printed leaving behind the impression of my hands and sometimes even (gasp!) red fingerprints.
I have been thinking about what it means to leave my fingerprints and the impressions of my hands on a piece of pottery or sculpture. I think it’s a huge step up to claim my place. I am here. This is my work. Yes, I made this. No, it’s not perfect and that will just have to be okay.
It’s a hell of a lot more fun too.