Artists Statement: Forrest Lesch-Middelton
The effects the porcelain trade had on European and Islamic culture along the Silk Road, and the modern impacts of the global oil trade on the world’s populations provide the inspiration for my work. My Shapes speak of the former, while the colors and degradation of surfaces hint at the latter. The pots touch on the timeless theme of how even the subtlest influences from outside a culture can affect the direction in which that culture proceeds. To capture some of this history in my work I use silkscreen and embossment transfer techniques to add borrowed patterns too, and emphasize volume on utilitarian ceramic objects. By blending form, imagery, and surface, my goal is to create a synergy that simultaneously elicits a visceral and intellectual response, followed by a contemplation of my work as a whole.
Bridging technology and form is an essential element in my work; however, it is important that neither overwhelms the final outcome. Working with the previously mentioned principles of imagery, surface, and form I make pots that are complex in their creation, yet still, illustrate the intrinsic beauty found in the everyday ceramic object. Once someone holds my pot my work is completed when the pot holds his or her attention my work is understood.
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