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Refracted Journeys Portraits Sophie - Ceramic pot with face painted on it
Refracted Journeys Portraits Rhys - Ceramic pot with face painted on it
Refracted Journeys Portraits Patrick - Ceramic pot with face painted on it
Refracted Journeys Portraits Tommy - Ceramic pot with face painted on it

My work as a ceramist has focused on the interplay of traditional forms and sculptural expression. I use the vessel form conceptually, because vessels have an inside, 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 is now a vessel and it becomes introverted, self-contained; it has an existential presence connected to its mysterious inner space. For some years I have been making pieces in a series that I call “Refracted Journeys: Portraits”, using this visual language to explore human consciousness. I take “mug shots” of my subjects, photographing their face, each profile, and the back of their head. The photos are manipulated in Photoshop, printed onto fireable decals, and then applied to the glazed surface planes of complex tessellated forms. With two decal firings and a final luster fire, each piece is fired at least 5 times, creating a 3-D portrait that fragments to fit its underlying pattern. Each has its own pattern and rests on a rectangular stone, suggesting shoulders. The fragmented portraits change as the viewer’s angle of sight moves, implying the refracted nature of the psyche and its ineffable journey. I hope to show the entire series of 20 (or more) pieces as an installation that will be arranged on pedestals of varying heights in a spiral, by age. My piece, “A Journey to the Ocean Inside”  will anchor the center of the spiral, resting like a blue pearl at the end of these “Refracted Journeys”. The piece repeats the phrase, “A Journey to the Ocean Inside”, on the diagonal, but the lines are staggered so that when one looks at the small opening around the top it says, “ocean inside ocean inside ocean inside, etc.” around the perimeter. You can read more about this project on my blog in an earlier post.

Glazed Stoneware with Stone Base

Artist’s Collection

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