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Artist Statement

The process of ceramic arts transforms clay like water, wind, and fire transforms the elements of nature, and captures the natural sequence of life. It is this connection of the processes of the earth and its relationship to the dynamics of ceramics which continually fascinates me and forms the focus of my work.  I try to capture the effects of water, wind, and fire in my pieces.  For example, the lines of my pieces flow like water, colors are represented in earth tones, and I try to use natural textures and shapes.


My intent is to portray the eternal and interconnected nature of life. I push the clay to grow from a small ball into a form of expression which represents life. Round voluptuous shapes peel off in many layers, as a seedpod would reach its breaking point and open to expose the life bearing seed within. Each of my vessels portrays a different stage of life. I have shown these different stages through the use of a seedpod form, with each vessel opening larger and culminating with vessels that are completely open with new seeds inside.

All living things, large and small, follow the same natural laws. I focus on one of the most obvious and influential of natural laws, which is that of growth and development.  Whether it is a person or a flower, life begins from a single point eventually spreading throughout the earth’s surface and beyond.  As a seed breaks open with the right amount of internal pressure so does a sun. The amount of pressure that the sun will accept before exploding (going supernova) is called the Chandra limit.  New life begins at the Chandra limit of the pod.  The metaphor of the exploding sun and the Chandra limit of the seedpod illustrate the expanding nature of the universe.  The totality of the collection of pods is also meant to emphasize the continuity of the life process and the eternal nature of the universe.  Each piece as well as the connection between them expresses this growth and change.


My work is thrown and then manipulated to create added details with an attempt to illustrate internal pressure leading to expansion and growth. With the intention of balancing structured and organic surfaces, I have created soft curves, strictly cut lines, and unpredictable leafy edges. I use seeds, pits, beans, and eggs in my work because they represent the starting point of life while the overall work illustrates change and development. Smooth curves and repetitive ripples reinforce the feeling of continuity and represent the movement of water.  Veins spread like branches reaching for new growth while leaves peel outward to create a feeling of development and potential.  Constant growth and expansion of life forms is eternally present but not perfectly balanced. There is room for mishap in any process. However, mishaps breed creativity and the evolutionary creation of new life forms.  This process is illustrated by the variations in size, shape, and styles in the seed pods represented.


In summary, my work is an attempt to represent the effects of the elements of the earth upon life, with an overall theme of the ever evolving and expanding nature of the universe.  While this process is marked by periods of death and decay, it is always punctuated by periods of rebirth, creativity, and a continual expansion of hope in the life process. 
Christina Winrich