I make ceramic and mixed media objects that embody interaction with material. Translated from the simple utterance of the hand the material articulates the labor. As in any relationship there are miscommunications and disagreements; Desperation, struggle, and honest interaction are apparent on the surface of the labored forms. Objects are created in an immediate fashion, the intimacy of the moment folded into the material. Each interaction an embodiment of the human experience. I think of these works as entries in a journal; The gravity of a moment is captured, relieving the mind by bearing that weight.

Whenever approaching a work, regardless of material, I bring the technique of my training as a ceramic artist. Referencing sensibility to form, ideas of interior and exterior space, and the history of material, ceramic technique and thought are fundamental considerations. Through the simple introduction of elements such as line, color, and shape, I divulge the narrative of an object. A continuation and growth that draws attention to the authenticity of the object. Each correspondence with material speaks its experience, becoming a physical representation of the human condition. I am as much a part of the object as the material. When my work is successful, the nature of the material and the nurture imbued are entirely present in the final work.


Todd Shanafelt

Committee Member

Pocket Toscani

Committee Member

Christopher Corley

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities

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