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My Journey with Clay

I am not a potter in the traditional sense of creating functional products. It is hand-building that excites and challenges me. The hand-coiled vessel is the ideal vehicle for me to express myself.

Hand-coiling is a traditional vessel-making technique. It is a time consuming process that allows me to pay homage to the past as well as negating society’s preoccupation with time. The hand-coiled vessels are made of tiny extruded coils, whose design give added meaning to the form. Smooth even lines depict peace, while wavy lines depict emotion.

I am intrigued by the metaphorical association of these hand-coiled vessels with the human figure. For example, both the vessel and the body have a lip, foot, belly, mouth and neck. I associate the interior of the vessel with our own interior thoughts and feelings. I do this by inscribing text into the clay while it is still wet. Sometimes, the text is visible and sometimes it is not, like our own thoughts and feelings.

The vessels are objects of personal expression that let me comment on conventional beliefs about female identity and historical accounts that I have come to question. Literary characters, including biblical women, have been a source of inspiration for my work, as have a women’s studies class in art history, a Canadian literature class, and a curiosity about things and events that shape one’s thinking. The messages that are inscribed into the vessels are inspired by research and reflections on the research.
  Cara in her studio
Hand-coiled pot on the wheel   Hand-coiling a pot       Next Arrow

Content ©2021 Cara Gay Driscoll
Treaty 4 Territory, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Last updated June 2021