Integration

My creative life is composed of a number of different elements: Writer, textile worker and ceramicist. How do I bring those disparate activities into a cohesive whole? I have long combined writing with fabric into text(ile)s, often writing on my quilts. But pottery seemed resistant to writing or textiles. Or maybe I just wasn't thinking creatively enough about how I can bring them together.

So this semester, I made a series of bowls punctuated with holes. They look like sieves. And now they're out of the kiln, I'm filling the holes with other materials from my textile world.

This holes in this first bowl are filled with buttons, on the inside and outside. The buttons are held in place with copper wiring because I'm trying to connect the clay of the pot with something else that's a basic earth material

The buttons come from some of the garments I've bought over the years that come with one or two spare buttons attached. What do you do with those buttons? Keep them, but the garment has been passed on or worn out by the time it loses a button, so I have this collection of miscellaneous buttons.

The second bowl is decorated with buttons made from a birch tree, attached with red embroidery floss. I use this kind of thread all the time in my hand work with textiles, and the wood buttons connect back to the clay as a basic earth material.

The third bowl has bone attached to it, again with embroidery thread, orange and black. In all three examples, I glazed the pots with neutral, earthy colors, partly to emphasize the connection between clay, copper, wood and bone, but also because I didn't want the bowl to overwhelm the decoration.

These bowls are completely impractical (and I usually make functional rather than decorative work), but they take me one step closer to integrating my passions in a creative and individual way.


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