Thursday, March 1, 2012

Emergent Properties of the Clay

I applied for a fellowship recently where I wrote, " Does sculpted clay somehow reference itself and its geological origins "in spite of" the artist? How to produce form that references nature without depicting it?"

Floating Shape and Surface

Neolithic Bead Curtain

Tile Closeup

I think these questions bring up the topic of "emergent properties" or "emergent behaviors" of clay that I've been exploring for a long time. Clay as a mineral is formed in certain ways, deposited in certain ways, and manifests itself in the landscape in certain ways.

Clay Colors


Clay Deposits

When we shape and smooth and sand and glaze our clay pieces, are we somehow overlooking the nature of the clay? It seems to me that some of the most successful pieces, whether they are formal or informal, functional (vessels) or non-functional, recall and celebrate the physical nature of the clay.

Mounted Detail

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