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Artist's Statement

The Vessel:

I create vessels. Some are intended for daily use. This subtle interaction with our most intimate parts—lips, tongue, fingertips—through eating, drinking, cooking and washing provides a canvas of inspiration which communicates on many levels. Touch, not afforded to the museum or gallery visitor, plays a key role in the aesthetic experience of my work. Through use, the audience is challenged yet rewarded as the true nature of the pot is revealed. 

The body is a common reference in not only the interaction of vessel and user but also in the very form of each work. The processes of throwing, glazing and firing leave concrete marks revealing the history of the piece and the body which created it. 

On Process:

Process is paramount to the development of my work. The repetitive, visceral interaction with material creates a kinetic rhythm of energy, spontaneity and sudden inspiration in response to these materials. Each piece reflects on the last, suggests then next, and is part of a continuous line of objects and ideas without an obvious beginning or ending.

Drawing:

Drawing is the foundation of art.  It is through the artist's manipulation of paper and pencil that the nature of space, time, and concept are explored and realized in a visual form.  Much like my work in clay, my drawings are a continuous growth of my work and ideas.  No one image is precious, each is a work in progress without a specific ending. These works on paper record ideas, views, nature and help me to find get the "feel" of an image or object before it is realized.

Material:

The plastic quality of clay invites touch and inspires the construction of my work. Building quickly and instinctively, I combine wheel thrown and hand-built elements to create vessels for containing, serving and eating. Surface develops from a visceral response to contrasting elements inspired by things organic and mechanical. Like a tree that has grown around a fence post, I create tension between distinct components alluding both to the characteristic nature of clay itself. 

Pushing the boundaries of Function:

Other vessels push the boundaries of function. Owing more to ceremonial function, than daily domestic use, I see these pots enriching special occasions and gatherings. Recently these works have explored man’s involvement with and control of nature. Surface develops from a visceral response to contrasting elements inspired by things organic and mechanical. Like a tree that has grown around a fence post, I create tension between distinct components alluding both to the characteristic nature of clay itself. I believe that more pots should push the boundaries of function. Rather than solely existing as pedestal objects or kitchen utensils lacking intellectual enlightenment, pots should have integrity and challenge the traditional pottery aesthetic. 

Copyright © 2005. Daryl McCracken. All rights reserved.