Soul Vibration

Feb 2nd - Feb 29th, 2024

Frank Madison is a blind artist from Philadelphia making functional pots and sculptural vessels at The Clay Studio. Frank has been at The Clay Studio since 2017, and in the Fall of 2019, he began working with Teaching Artist Jesse Warech. In their work together, Frank and Jesse constantly strive to develop and improve their language of making, with Jesse often acting as a "visual translator." Doing so continually provides Frank with ways to develop new skills and out- of-the-box making techniques.

Artist Statement

I love texture, whether it is created by my hands or my tools, intentionally or accidentally. Texture has the power to change the feel of an entire piece. Much of my work is made on the wheel using a "dry throwing" technique that Jesse - my "visual translator" - and I have been working on for the last two years. This method allows me to handle large amounts of clay more efficiently and constantly create new and interesting surfaces. Due to the clay's softness, I often can only tell what a piece will feel like once it is finished. Each piece turning on the wheel creates its own movement, contributing to its vibration, rhythm, and energy. Working with clay often pulls things out of me that I never thought I could create. It is this soul vibration and energy that I put into each piece.

All of this work is wood-fired, which I was introduced to in 2020. With this technique, glazing happens when wood ash melts on the surface of the work. I've always felt that clay is alive in some way, and wood firing has a way of letting the clay speak for itself. Even though I try to control the clay, it takes on a life of its own in making and firing; clay will bend, stretch, slump, and sometimes warp, especially in the wood kiln. Wood firing brings the material to life while engaging with a ceramic history I am excited to participate in.