Katz, Louis Howard
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During the development of this body of work, I have begun to clarify my concept of Beauty, and its relationship to Nature. Nature as I see it is beautiful, and I believe my esteem is due to comprehension of natural order. Nature does not exhibit total control. Nature only sets the parameters within which random variation will occur. Nature does not determine where the wind will carry a leaf, only the means of its transport and the limits on its final location. I feel myself a part of this order. As Nature's pawn, I set some of the parameters. I am as much a part of my work as it is a part of me. I have chosen terracotta clay and salt firing for most of this body of work. This combination of material and process most vividly shows variation in color and surface caused by the random effects of fire. If the distribution of color, from light to dark, in "Alike Jugs" were plotted on a graph, the data would assume a bell shaped curve. This form is common to many graphed natural phenomena. In "Sigma," the distribution of colors reminds one of rocks in a streambed. Other variables in my work such as glaze thickness, size, and shape, similarly graphed, also exhibit this distribution. When I was a child, a common thought of my peers was that the solar system was just an atom on a broader scale, its nucleus and electrons like the sun and the planets. Much of my interest in packing and stacking pots, both in and out of kilns, comes from my elementary knowledge of crystalline structure and its relation to efficient use of space. "Sigma" can be thought of as having a structure composed of multiples of a variation of an octahedron, a form coincidentalIy similar to that of many ceramic oxides. Likewise, the layering in "Out of Kiln" is similar to that in kaolinite, the mineralogical building block of clay. An extension of my concept of Beauty in natural order and the subjectiveness of truth is my feeling that there is beauty in all things. Natural order, and therefore Beauty, manifests itself in everything, and all artifacts of man illustrate the nature of their maker.