Perfect Moment December 2009
My definition of a Perfect Moment: when two entities, be they human, object, animal, or nature, are able to hold on to their inner core, to the integrity of their identity, yet find a place of connection where they mold to each other creating mutual support.
Why vessels? I have been attracted to vessels since an early age. I grew up in a country where archeology is everywhere, where holding a piece of clay from a broken vessel awakens the imagination. Who was that person that created that container hundreds or thousands of years ago? What was stored in this vessel? Food, coins, stories? What secrets?
To me vessels are a metaphor for anything that contains a treasure, be it tangible or emotional, spiritual. Here are two entities captured in a perfect moment of connection sharing, if only for that brief moment, their inner treasures.
I work with clay as a carver. I mix various clays, of different textures and colors, to achieve the look of an archeological vessel that has been reassembled. I begin with a solid mound of clay and use my body, a mallet and knives to rough the form. When Iím satisfied with what has appeared I let it dry for a while letting it harden to a point that it can be hollowed out without collapsing.
At this point I refine the design, perfect the lines and create the surface Iím interested in Ė textured or burnished. Now the piece is put aside to rest, to get used to its new form, allowed to dry slowly (4-6 weeks depending on the weather). The work is now ready to be fired.
I fire very slowly (about 10 hours) to cone 2 and let the kiln cool down for 24 hours before I open it. This is when the finishing steps happen; at this point I either use cold patina (using water soluble pigments as stains) or liquid wax.