My utilitarian vessel work references shapes found in the gardens I have tended throughout my life. A variety of vegetal forms have become the inspiration for the jars, bottles, bowls, teapots and other functional forms I create. An aspect of my interest in plant and vegetable shapes stems both from my experience gardening as well as from my concern for the loss in genetic diversity in our food sources. The recent resurgence of heirloom vegetables, those based on older varieties not suited for large scale commercial production, is a hopeful sign that others are also concerned about the loss of this vital diversity. The growth of the “slow food” movement also honors the unique flavors developed by generations of gardeners. As an artist, I draw influence from the bounty of natural shapes and work to make permanent these forms that are vital to nourishing our civilization. In turn, my utilitarian forms become the host to the foods that spark their inspiration.
Regarding technical process, atmospheric firing and the surface alterations I create result in dynamic surfaces that add another layer of interest to the objects. The woodfired anagama and “glassagama” kilns I use were designed to allow for the most direct surface effects on the work. Clay bodies and specific shapes are selected for particular zones of each kiln to maximize the potential for dynamic patterns and coloration. Each piece is loaded in the kiln with concern for how the flame and ash produced during the firing will complete the long journey from idea to object.
Bottle, woodfired stoneware with applied molten glass, 10″ high
All images on this page: Ann Cady