Artist Statement

To me, art is about the outward expression of our inner most values. I strive to accurately depict harmony, beauty, sturdiness, a sense of fun and absurdity with touches of humor without rigid adherence to formal art rules.

We live in a fast paced world where objects can now be printed whole in three dimensions. Thus, progress continues to move forward with an even less “hands on” approach from the conception of an idea to mass production. In time, there may be no physical effort at all expended in the creation of an item as machines become more and more competent in making items from a thought. And yet, people of all walks of life still crave that feeling of peaceful magic when their hands create something: a garden, a garment, a meal or a piece of art. Those who recognise the magic of hand created often also feel the emotions imbued within a piece.

In the Victorian era, artisans dealt with the devaluation of handmade pottery and other handcrafts as the mass produced, machine made item gained approval. Today, as humans live with bits and bytes devaluing human labor on assembly lines and eliminating whole sectors of traditional jobs, the Victorian machines are now idealized in fantasy via the Steampunk movement. My work reflects the hands on approach of Southern Folk pottery traditions while giving a nod to Steampunk and the modern computer life.

I add both Steampunk type elements and computer motherboard elements to my work as an attempt to harmoniously marry the differing values between modern technological marvels versus the artistry of handcrafting. On functional pieces, my handles’ thumb grip often mimic the chape, the bar, and prong of a buckle (a common Steampunk element).  The fantail of a handle usually has an element that resembles machine crimping on both sides. A pot’s design on the body might favor the angular parallel runs of conductive signal traces ending in vias (circles of through holes found on printed circuit boards).

These individual elements are known and comfortable, and yet, on a piece of hand made pottery, absurd. Somehow the incongruousness of all the design elements, when put together, becomes reconciled to each other to make a lovely piece.

In my sculptures the human condition is engaged with, or influenced by, computers in some way - while striving  to attain happiness.

Most of the glazes that I use are formulas that I’ve custom developed. For food safety, I do NOT use lead, cadmium or barium in any of my glazes.

I hope the art I create also gives you joy.

With thanks for your interest,
Cindy Douglass,
Stardust Pottery