There have been times when I have driven from the Midwest to the East Coast and back with some regularity. Sometimes when the sun is slanted just so these strange shrubs will pop against the landscape. I forget they are there, I forget to even look for them and then suddenly there they are. Awkwardly spaced, clearly intentionally planted along median strips or banks, their shapes catch my eye, catch me off guard, did that one look like a giant mitten? another a strange claw?
As shapes they interest me because I can’t really pin them down, it is like looking for a shape in a cloud, now it is one thing, now another. At times I will squish the clay in my hands, forming rough knobs and twirls. Then I will let the clay dry and carve it away with a knife, the hard scraping following the twists and turns that I earlier embedded. Other times I will take the clay body and add aggregates, making the smooth body chunky and open, using sand, and mica and bits of already fired clay. I will make a smooth form and the scrape the top surface open, exposing the pits and dimples left behind. I often walk when I make the initial forms, the motion of my body through space allowing me to concentrate on the tactile rather than the visual.
My forms play with the line between recognition and understanding. Rounded and abstracted, they exist in an arena between the idea of an object and the object itself.