O'Connell, James Edmound, III
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Through every pot thrown, glazed, and fired one is able to observe and understand the process towards reaching a complete idea. Thus the process becomes a documentation of my growth and maturity. My work has gone through many changes as I have grown and learned to understand myself, my limitations, and ceramics. My goal was once to have the perfectly thrown pot expressing symmetry and smoothness - which didn't satisfy - thus the pots looked lifeless and forced. Understanding this has led my work to incorporate my own personality and expression. My work has become less symmetrical, more gestural and primal, which expresses a self portrait of my inner feeling and an understanding of my abilities and limitations with the material. The forms are influenced by the straightforward quality of many Japanese forms such as Tomba, Bizen, and Shigaraki. The forms become my interpretation of the simplicity and beauty I see in Japanese ceramics. The pieces become three dimensional drawing by throwing the clay to the limit of its structure and strength thus creating a tension of the same essence as sculpture. The forms are thrown and fired, then lived with, in order to understand the elements which make the pot reach a complete idea. Once this communication is absorbed, the piece is thrown again applying that knowledge to achieve the best possible solution to that form. Subtle glazes, simply applied, are used to strengthen the perception of form and beauty. I use slip, gestural scraffito, and glazes which complement the clay. The work becomes a heightened expression of elegance, yet remains an intensive and serious study of straight forwardness. The simple, and natural forms combine as an expression of myself, and understanding of volume, space, color and form.