Kristen Kieffer: New Work

Sep 7th - Sep 30th, 2007

While my work aligns itself with the detail, sophistication and beauty of a bygone era, my desire is to evoke an air of 21st century extravagance. Within the parameters of the ceramic vessel, I am interested in investigating line, form and texture to connect the incompatibility that seems to exist in our current consciousness between function and adornment.

My primary influences are clothing and metalworking. In past cultures and times, both clothing and metal forms had the ability to be simultaneously decorative and usable. The hard lines of vintage corsetry, Elizabethan dress and couture costuming, and conversely the soft lines of Art Nouveau silver, Islamic brass and American silver, intrigue me; soft material making hard edges, and hard material yielding soft forms. As I throw, alter and build with clay, I am drawing in three-dimensions, deciding what kind of line, edge and shadow will best accentuate the pot’s silhouette.

Pattern is another influence. I use repetitive pattern and accents to compliment or define form. Patterning ideas come from fabric, jewelry, architecture and furniture. These external embellishments are smaller, detailed lines and shapes giving strength to the bold lines defining the pot’s shape. My choice of monochrome color (a cue from the metalworking) allows the pattern to coexist with but not dominate the form.

Form is my primary interest as an object-maker, followed by ornamentation and function. I am ultimately interested in formal investigations of line and detail to define form for my pottery.

Kristen Kieffer