My Ceramics Odyssey: Unearthing the Power of Clay
“Don’t think about making art; just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art” – Woody Allen
“In England, there is a dividing line between artists and illustrators, who are thought inferior to painters. Well, that’s absolute rubbish. Some of the most creative work is being done in children’s books. In Japan, everything is art. They don’t say painting is better than ceramics or dress design.” – Brian Wildsmith
In 2017, I established a studio intending to bring my “dance” with cancer into a visual art form. However, I soon realized that the planned process was not working for me. Instead, I found my passion in making ceramic, which allowed me to experiment with different colors, patterns, and textures. This helped me create something tangible and beautiful from my struggles and, ultimately, find comfort.
After taking classes at Santa Monica College and The Pasadena Art Center, I explored clay from an autodidactic perspective. I found its malleability to be highly stimulating, but I realized that wheel throwing was not the route I wanted to pursue. Instead, I focused on two hand-building techniques – coil and slab – to investigate texture, form, and color. Through this exploration, I have developed a deep appreciation for the versatility of clay and the many ways it can be manipulated.
My exploration began by creating vertical compositions of colorful glazed ceramic balls and twisted glass rods. Topping off this unique arrangement was a candle holder. All are resting on a wooden base. When one of the imperfect ceramic balls broke, I was inspired to glue its pieces back together, a method known as Kintsukuroi. By combining traditional materials and techniques, I was able to create unique pieces that could serve as both art and functionality. Through this exploration, I continued to refine my craft and explore the boundaries of ceramic design.