Artist's statement

Ceramic Work

My work draws attention to a range of issues, including food-borne pathogens, monoculture, irrigation and water shortages, the development of farmland, and colony collapse disorder in honeybees: a syndrome that has caused massive die-offs of these vital pollinators. Through my work, I hope to generate a deeper contemplation about the sources of our food, its processing, and its impact on the environment and our bodies.

Each new piece begins with multiple sketches of forms and surface images, based on my research and observation of collected images. I work with both dark brown and white stoneware clays to make wheel-thrown vessels and slab-built forms with soft curves and a sense of expanding volume. I use the sgraffito process to create surface imagery by carving through layers of underglaze and slips to reveal the color of the clay beneath. I finish the pieces with contrasting areas of matte and glossy surfaces, and each vessel form is finished with a food-safe glaze.

The process of developing the surface imagery is not quick, and it involves deliberate choices of composition, placement, and scale. At this stage, knowing when to stop and selecting what to leave out of the composition are crucial for me in completing a strong piece. Once a piece is finished, it becomes a new starting point for sketching, thinking, and developing the next piece. The process begins again.

Copyright 2008-2016 Anna Velkoff Freeman. Images from this site may not be used without permission.