I Am Really Just the Surface of a Grand Ocean, 25 in. (64 cm) in height, porcelain with glaze and stains, fired to cone 6, acrylic and oil paint, 2010.

CM: Could you talk a little bit about how you vary the level of detail in modeling, as well as the color application, of your figures in order to lead the viewer’s eye?


CW: As I begin to build, volume and balance come first, then I direct my attention toward contour. The clay is worked in variations of slabs, from thick to thin, building upward and pushing outward. Sometimes I cut and fold the clay, like wet origami, to relieve stress in the clay that would come from pushing it out. I did this with the dog that is part of I Am Really Just the Surface of a Grand Ocean.


The figures originate from the torso, getting built out in both directions at the same time. An arm is two slabs made circular, cut and attached. Joints are puzzled together with smaller triangular shapes, moving into the hands and face to build up the surface outward until small details are smoothed out, creating the final finished surface.


The 2011 Emerging Artists are featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s May 2011 issue.
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