Vasefinder Nationals 2006
Exhibitor 50

Steven Branfman

Needham, Massachusetts

Title: Raku Vessel

Year of Creation: 2002

Glaze: Multiple brushed and splattered layers of stoneware and commercial low fire glazes raku fired

Clay Body: White stoneware clay body

Dimensions: Height 15 inches, Width 12 inches

Artist's Statement: My work comes from a tradition of functional vessels. When I began my career I was drawn to the concept of pottery being both utilitarian AND sculptural/decorative and I made purely functional pots; bowls, plates, cups, teapots, pitchers, etc. As my work and career matured I drifted from functional work and concentrated on decorative pots though always maintaining my commitment to the functional object and the vessel form.

My choice of shapes and the wheel throwing methods I use to form my vessels have to do with the concept that pottery forms have a volume and an inward pressure that defines the shape. Pots are formed from the inside out and the bottom up with the interior negative space defining the outward appearance. My surfaces further help to define the shape with textures that expand and grow with the shape during the forming process. I don't see the surface of my pots as canvases that sit on the surface to decorate, but rather as a skin that communicates what's underneath. The inspiration for my surfaces come from my observation of the visual images and tactile objects around me: Rock faces, landscapes, tree bark, raw earth; the colors of sand, sky, oceans, sunsets; the patina of copper; lava rocks, worn concrete sidewalks, the green mold that grows on shingles and fence posts; grass, moss, coral and more.


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