When asked why she decided to become a potter, ceramic artist Betty Woodman responded that she became a potter because she wanted to change the world. Woodman explained, “If you have beautiful things to use, it changes the kind of person you are.”
Woodman’s vision resonates with my own interest in creating dinnerware: to celebrate life. In today’s culture, largely driven by efficiency, economy and an assault of image and information overload, slowing down to enjoy a meal served on beautiful dinnerware can be an effective way to nourish oneself both bodily and spiritually.
Through bright colors and design inspired by Abstract Expressionists/Color Field painters or muted and neutral colors inspired by the still life paintings of Giorgio Morandi, I create domestic objects for daily use. I am seeking to express the notion of simple pleasures as an antidote to our crazy busy lives.
My forms are indicative of wabi-sabi aesthetic: simple, slightly asymmetrical and unrefined. Fingerprints, surface imperfections and a relaxed characteristic to each individual piece gently reminds the user that a fellow human made this plate (…cup, bowl, etc.).
In creating dinnerware I am setting a stage – a cast of players that perform perfectly on their own but when together as a table setting create an experience akin to theater. My work is a combination of slab-built, thrown, pinched, and molded techniques. I utilize inlay techniques, the layering of slips, underglazes, multiple glazes and multiple firings. I find that slowing down and spending time making each individual piece allows me to experience what I hope the user will experience when using the piece – a time of self-reflection and contemplation.
Tammy Lynn 2018