Vessels

 

Coming from an art school foundation in ceramics and weaving in the late 1960s, when craft media were explored for their expressive qualities. These formative experiences rooted a love for functional clay forms, as well as traditional textiles, particularly baskets.  Hand papermaking was added to my repertoire in the early 1980s. From this point forward, I explored ways to combine my interests into a single body of work which launched a vessel series developed out of handmade paper and weaving techniques that become the hallmark of my work.  This series became a platform to experiment and expand content, imagery, form, and technique.

These sculptural baskets are vessels that depict aspects of my experiences and philosophy of life. Each piece is a visual response to my everyday life, a window into what I read, see, feel - my thoughts, dreams, joys and sorrows.  Some of the issues present in the work have been inspired by ancient ritual objects and traditions, favorite stories (some biographical, others mythological), or reflections of my personal relationship as a woman, wife, mother, friend. Some of the vessels suggest mundane domestic functions but simultaneously deny any ability to function, highlighting how our daily lives can be filled with humor and magic if we just allow it to be there.  In others, the vessel becomes a metaphor for a human figure contained within other structures, which I view as vessels of protection, home, and other references contained within the iconographic meanings of this form. No matter what the source of inspiration or conceptual issues that drive the work, I am searching for a visceral response that touches a place within us where no words exist to describe our emotion.

All the works contain handmade paper produced in my studio. Most of the “painted”, “printed” or “drawn” elements were done in the papermaking process itself, although some coloration is done during the finishing of each piece. Additional elements are applied to complete each piece.