Mike Kern

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I am interested in a vessel’s surface development as much as I am the form. The development of the ware’s exterior seems endless with possibilities, and I am attracted to those practices. I strive to create work that is compositionally interesting and easy to use. An object’s visual weight is just as important to me as it’s physical weight. I use both wheel-thrown and hand-built techniques to originate my works.

 Beyond the utilitarian aspect of creating a vessel, I employ design principles and elements to utilize the surface of the pot to enhance the object’s form. Once the object is built, I consider its exterior a three-dimensional canvas to explore and develop. I use the processes of applying wax resist, engobe, underglaze and glaze in a varying, but premeditated approach. I use line, shape, and repetition to support the forms in a controlled, geometrical manner. My intent is to contrast the shape of an object with visually complex areas in ways that maintain balance throughout the form. The colors that evolve through both underglazing and glazing are meant to coexist with both the whiteness of the clay and the shape of the form. Beyond the visual observations, I am attracted to subtle variations in surface qualities, such as glazed areas alongside raw clay areas, to which I hope the interaction becomes even more interesting to the user.

 As a potter, I try to create work that is both inviting and comfortable to the user. Within the ceramic medium, through my continued exploration of form and design, I hope to bring a greater attention and interest to the ordinary and overlooked routines of the day.


james may gallery© 2017