ceramics (visual works)
Across cultures, drinking tea is intrinsically social in all of its manifestations. My work recognizes the activity as a shared one, allowing for a small group of individuals to take part in a communal act rooted in thousands of years and tradition and ritual. The implicit social nature of my tea sets stands in juxtaposition to the process of handcrafting these teapots and cups; an activity that is an intensely solitary and introspective endeavor. Though functional in every way, the very small size of my pieces denies practical usage and so reflects their truer ideal. Yet, the basic functionality of the teapots and cups allows for the imagined potential of a shared social interaction. However, the focus is instead an investigation of my own personal thoughts, ideas and half-formed imaginings (that often pertain to relationships and social involvement) at the time of creation.
The gestation of a piece from pure plastic possibility to concrete and finished object is satisfying both as a tactile experience and as a focus for meditative thought. I start with a basic shape or two in mind, but as the piece comes together I make changes and take steps that feel intuitive and as my mental state urges—anything from joy to frustration or sadness. The construction of a piece takes fastidious care to preserve form and structural integrity, but I keep my joins loose and the end result of a shape is highly negotiable and dependent on an ongoing conversation not only between myself, my thoughts and the material, but between the components of the piece itself as they take shape. This clumsy meticulousness and the actual experience of play and discovery alters my initial form into a final object—intriguing, whimsical and possessive of a sense of personality obliquely suggestive of my internal thoughts.
Holtby, Amanda, "Untitled 10" (2011). 2011 Student Thesis Exhibition. Image. Submission 13.
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