Salisbury, Mary Elisabeth
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The functional aspect of a vessel is vitally important to me. I have altered the maiolica glaze I use so that it does not contain lead which is toxic. This affords greater functionality of my ware and still provides for a broad range of color that lies within the earthenware temperature range. I continue to expand my personal vocabulary of form and ornamentation within the boundaries of functional ware. When my pots are wet I push them around to alter the surface profiles. Sometimes I add clay leaves or branch forms or carve into the surface to accentuate specific shapes. These manipulations, illustrated in the series of platters, allow me to integrate the form of the pot with the painted glaze surface. This integration of form and surface is far more interesting to me than throwing production ware covered with stagnant decoration. As I work with clay I think of the clay surface as skin. The surface stretches as my fingers poke and prod the clay to define the growing internal volume. The parts of the vessel, the handles, lips and feet, are exaggerated to animate the forms. Bulging bellies and jaunty spouts characterize the teapot series. I see these pots as individual personalities, yet united in their themes and functions.