Parts of Self Collection 

The exploration of the natural world and traditional artistic materials delivers daily inspiration. Living in Minnesota, I spend considerable time experimenting with a variety of materials in the winter months. I am motivated to create works that start a conversation. Visuals are my language. I see paints, clay, fiber, metal, along with discarded materials, as a way to tell stories. The goal of stirring curiosity in the viewer pushes my journey. A cherished part of the experience is witnessing others respond to my work. Hearing laughter, observing careful thoughts, or stopping a person in their tracks is a joy to witness. It is worth the risk of rejection to receive a response from viewers. I create works to unite others, to see them think and feel.

In this series, Younger Me, Younger You, I was inspired to create sculptural ceramic portraits of my family at their current ages, engaging in memories of childlike wonder. My home is multigenerational, and it is a complex dynamic resulting in careful reflection and consideration at the end of the day. I wanted to showcase struggles and difficult moments, including dyslexia (Yek) or embracing the aging process while retaining a childlike innocence (Bad News Banana Phone). Scenes such as, gleefully catching fresh-picked berries (Catch), pretending a banana is a phone (Bad News Banana Phone), or playing spies with your siblings (Yek and Key) were selected because of their significance to each person.

Snapshots of childhood life often encompass feelings of joyfulness and hope. Reality becomes fictionalized in our minds; no matter how hard we try, moments become edited. Therefore, the faces in the collection are moments frozen in time: contemplation (Wish), shock (Bad News Banana Phone), withholding emotion (Yek), intense joy (Catch), ravenous (Pair of Pears), mysterious (Breaking the Record), and plotting (Key).

         After creating the sculptural forms on a pottery wheel, I drew and carved upon the clay surface. Dark underglaze was selected to express the journey of self-discovery. The faces peeking out of the darkness represent our paths to finding ourselves. Emotions carved into each piece show authentic parts of ourselves that comprise us as a whole.

         A few wheel-thrown pieces are transformed and sliced in half, with images inside (Pair of Pears) and outside the vessel (Yek and Key). The intent was to show the visible parts of ourselves, also the hidden details. Pair of Pears depicts the basic needs we sometimes conceal from others. Yek and Key illustrate the limited perceptions of what we see. The outside of Yek is oriented upsidedown. As a child, dyslexia was a battle. Often learning disabilities such as dyslexia are generalized instead of seeing the individual and asking further questions to help.  Other concealed elements are illustrated in Pair of Pears and Breaking the Record, including lizard-like hands emerging on the surface, referencing the limbic system responsible for our fight or flight responses.

         Balled up copper and silver dot the surface of Wish, Bad News Banana Phone, and Catch. These metal bits help illustrate the idea; we are always in a state of progress and change. Breaking the Record shows a tiny cut-out in the form, with a candle hidden inside designed to represent future self-growth. In addition, aluminum finger-like forged pieces reach up, and a vintage vinyl record is perched on top. Everyone can feel the stress to push to be the best or break the record, and it can be a victorious and a miserable experience in the same instance.

The goal of the series was to anchor and trap the human expression of a moment. Just as the ancient Greek spirit, Elpis, was left inside a jar to bring hope to the world, I wish to express hope and address reality, including struggles. Moments may be both precious and also filled with complex feelings in the same breath.