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Double Walled Large Rimmed Plate II
47 3/8" x 47 3/8" x 8 1/2" in
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To make my current body of work, I’ve developed a new technique that combines wheel-thrown pottery, lathe-turned wood, and chainsaw carving. I have retrofitted my potter’s wheel to accept stacks of plywood that I carve and sculpt with a chainsaw as the wheel turns. The chainsaw’s natural reaction to the spinning wood is to jump and skitter across the surface of the vessel leaving its fingerprint similar to the way that the elastic memory of clay records every movement of a potter’s hands. The chaotic nature of my process borders on destruction as I want to push each piece to the furthest degree, stopping only when I feel the work can take no more. While this new approach to vessel making involves a great deal of calculation, the inevitable loss of control creates integral visual elements unique to each piece. The laminations of plywood create concentric lines, the resulting texture is reminiscent of a topographical map, and the holes punched through the vessel’s thin walls create fortuitous negative space. I appreciate the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of “Wabi Sabi” which is described as finding beauty in the imperfect.  The very things we don’t expect can often be what we value the most.