While my recent work focuses mainly on slipcast porcelain and bone china, I use a range of sculptural materials for their tactile and sensory clues. Translucent sheets of paper pulp, elastic nylon membranes, bulging bladders of rubber, the cozy fuzzyness of felted wool, and the sparkling bone-white of vitrified porcelain recall structures and inner workings of the body. These materials—shaped by forces of physics, gravity and time—being stretched, slumped, stacked, pinned or stitched together, reflect on the sensual and fragile state of the physical body; draw from contradicting embodied experiences of strength and frailty, resistance and surrender, order and chaos.
I typically work with molds. The casting process opens the door to working with modules and repeated iterations, and also alludes to the tradition of the industrial making process.
Each new mold needs to be engineered for not only the specific form but also for the type of material and casting process. The technical challenge of this is intriguing and brings a different pace to my work. For example, slipcast bone china, a form of pristine and highly vitreous porcelain—in Parlor Games: Scientia and in Experiments in Being Lost— is notorious for the extreme difficulty of handling.
In connection to my work on Axiomatic, I have started to explore digital design and prototyping using 3D printers. The prototyped components of each form are then used to create the molds, in order for the form to be reproduced and assembled in bone china or porcelain. The perfect logic of the digitally designed mathematical form is transformed by “misbehaving materials” and the crucible of the kiln.
Other works, such as the Construct series, still use casting slip but are entirely hand-built. Here, the process—like a game—is governed by a set of rules/algorithms I set up before beginning each new piece. Constructs test and explore the limits of formalist rule-making, allowing the playful rule-breaking to enter the process.