Wedge explores connections, collaborations, and divisions within the increasingly sophisticated practices of ceramic artists today.
How is our ability to manipulate, process, and transform environmental materials and elemental forces continually reshaping our world and our position within it?
That which connects us, that which supports us, that which divides us.
Wedge aims to identify and interrogate the increasingly complex interactions between ceramic practice and current ethical, aesthetic, personal, and environmental concerns.
Mixing and blending pottery clay by kneading, cutting, and throwing down to remove air pockets and make homogeneous
A solid substance with one thick end tapering to a thin edge that provides balance, support, stability, and security
Something with a thin edge that is used to divide and separate thoughts, objects, or materials.
Ceramic objects connect us. They allow us to mix socially by both their use and containment. They act as a platform for social interaction and express cultural ideas and aesthetic considerations.
The making of ceramics requires both knowledge and skills. Sharing and practising these provide meaning and an outlet for the aesthetic dimension in our lives. The act of making is a way to express an individual’s personality.
Ceramic objects transcend the mechanical and the virtual. Spaces may act as conduits to meaning and understanding of cultural similarities and differences.
Ceramic practice supports human cultural life. We interact with ceramic objects in the daily consumption and the elimination of food and drink and in much of the architecture that we inhabit. They are integral to our existence.
Indeed, clay is integral to life itself. Inorganic clay is formed as water erodes rock. The submicroscopic sheets and plates of clay molecules provide a moist slippery space for organic molecules to double in size and interact. In this way organic molecules can concentrate and react and thus enable life to grow. Many traditions posit the making of the first human beings from primordial clay.
Yet, clay and ceramic objects may act as markers of difference and division. Ceramic practice is an ancient marker of the development of human civilizations and is coterminous with the development of agriculture and societies. It has changed human culture forever.
The type of clay used in manufacture and daily use also signified divisions in entitlement and society in general. Types of clay and the context in which it is presented feeds the culturally constructed schism between what is considered art and that which is designated craft. Such divisions are often predicated on conceptual relationships between the body and the mind and how consciousness is generated.