The idea behind my senior project, titled Entites, was heavily influenced by the packaging and repetition that happens in the production of goods. The goal of the project was to create forms inspired by the consumption of goods by slip-casting the exact same piece over and over to where the value of this work is questioned. When the unfired work stacks up in rows I find it fascinating but they individual pieces tend to blend in with the masses and do not have much intrinsic value, the whole lot is nice to look at but no single piece holds its own worth. An interesting form can become lifeless when it is repeated too much. Anything in abundance loses its value.
Wood firing breaks up this monotonous form by creating a unique surface on each one. This firing method creates rich surfaces that compliment repetitive forms. However once these pieces are fired, they take on a personality. There are so many variables from the type of firing, type of wood, where the wood comes from, what pieces are next to each other, how tight or loose the loading is, the location in the kiln. All of these factors into what the surface will look like. It sounds like throwing a lot up to chance but after a lot of repetition and practice one can start to understand the variables and how they influence the surface. With all of these variables, every piece has its own unique surface decoration. The forms are identical but no two pieces are the same anymore. They take on their own unique surface and they become their own entity. Each piece is created the exact same, with the same movements and are comprised of the exact same material, similar to how humans are. We are all created in a similar fashion and are made up of exactly the same material as well. However, we are all radically different; we all have different distinguishing characteristics that set us apart from one another. This diversity is important to understand in order for each of us to feel important in this world.
The forms chosen to explore this project with are devices of consumption. Mugs for consuming coffee, small mugs for espresso, flasks and small cups for whiskey, gin or tequila, steins for beer, tube flasks for cigarette storage and protection, plates for food. They are all related to how people consume a variety of things. Living in a society built upon consumption I think it is important to look at what we put in our body. By creating these vehicles, the user is likely to form more of a ritualistic approach to what they are using my work for. Something as simple as having a cup of coffee is an important part of many people’s day. Using a handmade mug and sitting down to take a moment to enjoy the morning’s coffee can be a thoughtful experience. However, chugging coffee from a gas station out of a paper cup might not even register to the person and the only goal would be to get caffeine in the body. Those moments are important to appreciate and can slowly shape our lives.