Living on both a ranch in Mexico and a dairy farm, here, in the United States exposed me to old, rustic, everyday objects and building facades that were altered by the ever-changing environment. I fire my work in atmospheric kilns to imitate similar conditions that often evoke a sense of nostalgia. My work is a reflection of my upbringing and the everyday rituals that have been instilled in me. I intend for my work to be shared with others. In sharing, I hope to develop a connection with the viewer.
What initially attracted me to clay is its potential for utility, but I’ve grown to understand that other than utility a pot can be something evocative, enlightening, and even provocative. I experienced some of these emotions first hand when I unloaded my first wood and soda fired pieces, admiring the deep oranges, the dark ash deposits, and the variations of flashing. I felt a sense of nostalgia from when I was a kid living on my grandpa’s farm, admiring the colors and elements of nature.
In addition to the utilitarian aspect of ceramics, my exploration of clay has led to a love for making Holy Water Fonts for use in the Catholic Church. Water has always been an element of cleansing and renewal and is a very important part of my faith. Making holy water fonts is how I best represent my faith in a physical way, as it allows me to connect with the vast Catholic community.
Outside of my faith, the importance and preciousness of water was instilled in me throughout my childhood in West Texas. My parents would remind my siblings and I to conserve water to prevent our well from suddenly running dry.My graduate research led me to build a well out of handmade bricks. The concept originated from the literal and symbolic importance of water throughout my life. The more I questioned the meaning and the purpose of the well, the more I began to think outside of myself. The purpose of a well is to provide water to a community, and in turn bringing the community together. It seemed fitting, then, to invite members of my community to help build a well by participating in the construction of the bricks.
My recent work is strongly focusedon the physical representation of the spaces and encounters in which people draw near to each other: having dinner with family, camping out with friends, or going to mass with a congregation. St. John Paul II said in his letter to artists “The purpose of art is nothing less than the upliftment of the human spirit”. The work I make is an extension of my love of the Catholic faith and the human