My current series of handmade housewares depict houses, fences, windows and stairways that narrate the experience of life in suburbia. Having spent the vast majority of my life in the ‘burbs, I have an affinity for the sometimes vague architecture, delineated greenery and strong sense of community that exists in this type of landscape. The idea of individuality being sacrificed for the sake of unity also manifests itself in my work and compels me to consider my pieces collectively rather than separately. Finding myself now in a place where “home” is more of an idea than a reality has caused me to produce work that deals with the basic question: “What makes a house a home?”
Touching of people and objects is more common in the home than anywhere else. The sense of touch is a powerful communicator, and in combination with narrative, is all the more influential when it comes to creating connections between people and objects. Soft, satin glazes in contrast with smooth glossy glazes long to be touched, felt, and gripped by fingers. The glazes also add a sense of atmosphere to the pots which helps propel the narrative thread throughout the work. Using hand-cut stencils allows me to tap into the suburban sensibility of repetition while also creating a tactile surface. I have developed a vocabulary of forms that are soft but structured in order to evoke a sense of visual and physical comfort.
Using handmade dishes also creates an opportunity to gather, sit, eat, and talk that may not otherwise have been there. These pieces don’t tell particular stories or recount specific personal memories, but perhaps through the intimate experience of touching and using them, encourage a thought, spark a memory or start a conversation. My hope is that they speak to a collective memory of those who have lived in or experienced the familiar ambiguity of suburban neighborhoods.