Involution (South Texas College, April – July 2021)

STC blog post on Involution (includes link to YouTube recording of webinar from 4 May 2021)

Involution: a spiraling inwards; intricacy.  The openings of my ceramic vessels spiral inwards, with wrinkled textures the clay develops spontaneously as I constrict its form on the potter’s wheel.  Clay and its elemental components share creative agency in finishing stages of ceramics as well – my vessels’ surfaces show a range of hues representative of wood firing without applied glazes, which are in fact produced by intricate microscopic behaviors of iron, oxygen and silicon as clay cools in the kiln at the end of a firing.  With our eyes we see flashes of color but with microscopes we may glimpse dramatic histories of crystallization.  With increasing magnification, we find landscapes within landscapes.  Where does the inward journey lead, and what does it inspire one to make?

In addition to vessels and photomicrographs, this show includes the mixed-media installation tokonoma (early spring, 2020) comprising an indigo-dyed hand-woven textile, custom joined wooden casework, and a ceramic vase.  The processes of making this work have been informally documented in an online project blog, a link to which is provided on small cards available at the show.  The form of the installation references a tradition from Japanese tea ceremony and domestic architecture, of using a small alcove for curated display of artworks that reference the season or special occasions.  I worked on the stitch-resist pattern dyeing of the textile panel during the onset of COVID-19.

Acknowledgments – the production of work for this exhibition has been supported in part by the McMurtry Arts Initiatives Fund at Stanford University.  The production of some digital images utilized the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF) supported by the National Science Foundation under award ECCS-2026822.

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