This past semester, I have been working on a body of work surrounding sweets and family gatherings. More images under gallery (current).
I am interested in creating and sharing an environment of merriment and community, and hope to encourage people to celebrate each day. My work has a clear feminine quality. Women were (and in many cases, still are) the keepers of holiday celebrations and traditions in the family. The choices of serving pieces used during celebrations and occasions convey the family spirit passed down through generations. Traditions learned from my mother, including baking have greatly influenced my work as a potter.
While finer materials like porcelain and crystal are often used during special occasions, my work is made of red earthenware. I think of this as a comfortable and casual material. The red clay peeking through the slip decorations give the work a warm feeling. Evidence of being handmade makes my work more personal. Pinched and coiled treat trays mimic the handmade quality of the desserts displayed on them. This quality brings a sense of informality to the gathering.
I felt it was important to present the work paired with the intended food. I have a personal interest in baking sweets, quite often with the intention of giving every bit of them away. The shared enjoyment of the desserts pushes me to create vessels which enhance the eating experience. I hope to move in a direction where the work is linked to an event; creating settings where community is involved directly with the work through eating.
My visual vocabulary includes the history of press-molded glassware, especially milk glass from the early 20th century, vintage fabric patterns, and beautifully baked treats. The color palette I choose to work with is muted, allowing the food to become part of the display. Vibrant, rich colors in the desserts are paired with greys and soft pinks in the work. This allows the user to be creative in the way they plate the food, playing off the colors in the serving plate or treat stand. Although I have made the work with the intention of them being filled with food, I want the pots to look full with or without food. The surface decoration serves this purpose.
This body of work was inspired by milk glass from the 1920’s. These historical items were made to be affordable household items during a time of depression. Women would collect these glass objects, creating a collection they would later pass down to their daughters. Women created an environment of celebration and togetherness with these special pieces. In my work I want to create a similar accessibility. Sturdy yet delicate, my pots make the user feel pampered in a casual environment.