My objective with each piece I make, which I don’t think of while I’m working, is to capture the imaginative moment and give my artist-self a chance to respond on the most fundamental level to that moment. What it comes down to is being fully present. Sometimes I think it’s not about making ceramic objects at all, but the end of my process occasionally presents me with pieces that I and others like and that might make some ongoing difference in peoples’ daily lives.
Most of my work is hand-built, beginning with stretched slabs on which I create little textural “psychodramas”. Designs are pressed into the surface with rolling stamps and then images are applied over that surface from tiny carved molds called sprigging stamps to create a clay tapestry. I carve all of my stamps and apply celadons over these surfaces to reveal and enhance the story.
An approach that is new to me is the Mishima technique. Mishima pottery comes from the Japanese island of that name, but I think it was originally transported from Korea around the 16th century. With this method I incise drawings in leather-hard clay, then overlay a slip of contrasting color and carefully scrape the excess away to leave the color only in the lines. This way of working gives me a chance to draw on my pots with a sensitivity very different from brush work. Brushes for me are quick and loose. Mishima is more “draftsmanlike”.Website: MeinersAndLee.com