Guided in her ceramics studio by nature’s symmetrical and asymmetrical forms, artist Jennifer McCurdy works with inspiration from everyday objects, producing vessels that imitate natural specimens such as malformed conch shells and burst milkweed pods. Her sculptures are habitually one color, a white the same shade as the ocean’s surf. Keeping a very limited palette allows McCurdy to highlight the hollow areas of her pieces, casting shadows from her chiseled patterns.
“I use a translucent porcelain body because it has a beautiful surface, and it conveys the qualities of light and shadow that I wish to express,” said McCurdy in her artist statement. “After throwing my vessel on the potter’s wheel, I alter the form to set up a movement of soft shadow. When the porcelain is leather hard, I carve patterns to add energy and counterpoint. I fire my work to cone 10, where the porcelain becomes non-porous and translucent.”
McCurdy occasionally adds 23 carat gold leaf detail to the inside of her pieces, allowing them to glow from the inside. You can see more of her ocean-inspired vessels on her website, as well as within the pages of the book The New Age of Ceramics.
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