I’m fascinated by the strengths and weaknesses of ceramic and metals. Traditionally ceramic objects have had a sense of sturdiness, as do industrial metals. My interest stems from utilizing both materials’ plasticity to my advantage. My work juxtaposes these concepts by embracing the fragility of both materials in a playful manner. This allows me to transform a static linear piece of metal or wire mesh into an undulating organic shape with curves and cast shadows that change from every angle. To accomplish this, I use small gauge wire mesh and thinly applied high fire paper clay, nylon clay, or Egyptian paste. The clay is bisqued leaving it porous and brittle like the weakened metal. The small gauge wire mesh which once acted as a structural armature now acts as a destructive mechanism due to different expansion and cooling rates between the metal and the ceramic materials. The flat bar sculptures are also heated to high temperatures. In the firing process, impurities in the metal rise to the surface causing an outer skin to form and flake away revealing assorted tones of red and blue.


Todd Shanafelt

Committee Member

Curt Germundson

Committee Member

Richard Liebendorfer

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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