I am interested in artifacts of the forest, specifically Northeastern U.S. woodlands. I feel nourished by these natural areas, my psyche connected to the timeless environment, where I experience peace and wellbeing and a quiet place deep inside myself. The plants, birds, insects and animals, the scent of the pine forest meeting the salt air of the rocky coast…this is where I feel truly alive. These things drive me to work, to create.
The currency of the woodland: acorns, pinecones, small sticks, cocoons. I collect specimens (or sculpt them out of clay, relying on a photograph and my subconscious agenda to conjure a nature object) and then cast them in plaster. From the plaster molds I cast them in porcelain; apply different surface treatments - washes, underglazes, glaze. Through this process, the sculptures are transformed into something that echoes the shape of the original object, but are realized in a ritual, illustrative or interpretive form.
I am creating a whole ceramic woodland world here in my studio.
Making porcelain art objects out of pinecones, acorns, chrysalis, butterflies, moths–this is a way to signify that these things are precious and worthy of contemplation and respect. It also reflects my anxiety over the vanishing of woodlands, and all natural places. I guess in a way I am making my own Eden.
- Laura Cromwell