My work consists mainly of Raku-fired vessels.
Raku is a reduction method, meaning that once the piece is fired the oxygen surrounding it is reduced (which means it is covered and smothered by sawdust), thereby enabling the smoke reduction to take effect, resulting in beautiful and unpredictable surfaces.
“Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.”*
The idea of wabi-sabi comes very close to describing my relationship to the clay, particularly in the evaluation of a piece and my subsequent connection to that form and to the process of making it.
As one learns to take control of the clay rather than the other way around, and through the discipline of regularity and repetition, there emerges a final piece which all at once shimmers with its own identity. Paradoxically, total immersion in and familiarity with the process frees one from the dictates of that process, and the outcome of a piece is often thrillingly unpredictable.
The non-thinking, almost meditative repetition of action allows one to focus on being, without any distraction. When the mind is freed from the burden of making all the decisions, other areas of the psyche (or some would say spirit) are employed and one becomes a participant in the process, and also one with it.
Wabi-sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else. “Beauty can occur at any moment, given the proper circumstances, context or point of view…”*
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren.
See a work you like? Inquire here.