My work is inspired by my curiosity of cultural similarities found in a common origin story of human life beginning with clay. Throughout history, different cultures believed that the first man was created from clay. Separated by land and ocean, this common belief can be found from the first peoples of the Mediterranean, Polynesia, and the Americas, and many others. This common theme has always fascinated me; why do all of these cultures believe mankind originated from the same material.
Clay shares many tactile similarities with the body. Being soft and malleable, resembling skin. Functional pottery allows me to explore this relationship of clay, flesh, and life, as a way of understanding the bond cultures perceived between clay and man. I respond to this connection by focusing on the flesh-like, visceral quality of clay, producing various alterations that suggest the body, such as folds of skin and protruding joints and bones. These vessels become an intimate object that can be held and touched. An object that, while referencing the body, communicates through the body. Through function and use, the work is able to participate in life while speaking of life, referencing the body through material, rather than representing the body through figure. Through my work, I address the question, “What is the body when the figure is removed?”