New Work

“Refracted Journeys: Portraits” Finally Displayed as an Installation

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While the first day of the annual Orange County Open Studio Tour was rainy, by the second day (Sunday, Nov. 8) I was finally able to display a small installation of my ongoing project, “Refracted Journeys: Portraits”. With 10 pieces now completed, I arranged the portraits in a spiral by age, starting with children and leading to elderly subjects, suggesting direction. My very different piece, “A Journey to the Ocean Inside” anchored the center of the spiral, resting like a blue pearl at the end of the journey. It was exciting and gratifying to finally be able to see some of these very unusual works in a way that I had always intended, as an installed group. Many people who visited my studio during the Tour seemed interested and engaged with the project. Having an installation also underscored the Tour as a time for “Open Studio.” We always like to sell art, but it’s also a great opportunity to invite people in to see your studio, talk with you about your techniques and your ideas, and just find out what you’re up to. Now it’s time for me to complete the next 10 or 15 pieces to reach the goal of having between 20 and 30 for a larger installation. You can read more about this project on the last blog post. You can also watch a video interview from the Wacqueline Stern Show in which I discuss this project at some length.


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Refracted Journeys

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Refracted Journeys 1 (front)

This is the first piece completed in what I hope will be an installation of 20 to 30 unique artworks titled “Refracted Journeys”. My work is hybrid, somewhere between craft and fine art. I use the vessel form not because I am a potter, but because vessels have an inner dimension. An enclosed form is extroverted; it displaces space and interacts with its environment. Imagine the same enclosed form but with a small entrance to an interior. The form suddenly becomes introverted, self-contained; it has an existential presence connected to its mysterious inner space. In the ancient world, vessels were used functionally, but also metaphorically in ritual and literature, employing some of these same ideas of interiority. Looking back to these antecedents, I treat the metaphor of the inner as a resonant subject matter for non-functional ceramic art pieces. My vessels are about their insides as well as their sculpted outsides. Implied are the dichotomies between the inner and outer, the hidden and the seen. Cutting through the wall and changing the angles of the various connecting planes in my complex tessellated patterns, I create deep relief, a dynamic movement that leads the eye to the inside of the vessel.

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Refracted Journeys 1 (left side)

“Refracted Journeys” will add the element of portraiture and the head to my conceptual understanding of the vessel form. It will be an installation of anonymous three-dimensional portraits in ceramic and stone. By firing on to the glazed surface simple photographically reproduced laser decals of high contrast dots, I am creating three-dimensional portraits that fragment to fit the varying patterns on each vessel. All will be on similarly-sized and glazed vessels, will have gold luster at the top, and will rest on horizontally-placed rectangular stones that suggest shoulders. This project expands the “inside” to the head and our notion of consciousness, implying the refracted nature of the psyche and its journey. (You can see larger images at the gallery or the “New Work” page.)

Join me at my studio during the OCAG Open Studio Tour the first two weekends of November and get a look at the beginning of this new  project.