LINSDEY BASS: Potter
I make functional ceramic objects. I create these objects to enhance the daily life of their user. I am inspired by the words of William Morris when he said, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It is my belief that surrounding yourself with things made from the earth makes for a happier and more enjoyable life. The objects I make are meant to be shared. I intend for them to bring people together in social situations such as sitting for a cup of tea with a dear friend or having a full meal with family. I believe that clay brings together communities of people and fellowship, whether you are a maker or just appreciate the handmade.
I choose to make my ceramic wares with a porcelain clay body. Porcelain possesses certain qualities of plasticity and malleability that lend itself to my process of manipulating the surface of the vessel. I use flashing slips, stains, underglazes, and glazes in a high fire soda kiln to accentuate the textured surfaces of my pots. In my process I wheel throw and alter my forms by faceting and slicing the clay after which I push texture surfaces through from the inside of the vessel. This creates a sense of vulnerability to the work, an exposure to the interior of the form.
My pots consist of dinnerware, vessels for plant life, and other useful objects for the home. I choose to work with clay for many reasons. Working with clay takes time and patience. The process turns into a daily practice much like a ritual. It is a labor of love. Clay is both limited and limitless. My ceramics practice teaches me lessons on a daily basis, such as being humble, patient, strong, and resilient. You must learn to problem solve with every new idea.
My ceramic work is influenced by Japanese culture, the values of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, and aspects of design associated with Mid-Century Modern. I enjoy Japanese traditions such as the tea ceremony, landscape, architecture, and life philosophy. The values of the British Arts and Crafts movement also inspire my work. The philosophy of this movement is ultimately a critique of industrial production, which favors functional objects made by hand integrated into utopian community design. My forms are guided by dinnerware commonly associated with Mid Century Modern. This manifests in my work due to my interest in making full sets of serving ware including cocktail trays and dinnerware.
My parents have been avid gardeners my entire life. I grew up with a yard constantly filed with beautiful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. As a result of my parents’ love for gardening and cooking I had many meals prepared with their bounty. Observing their garden and reaping the benefits made a long lasting impression on me. This has taught me the importance of hard work and taking pride and joy in the finished product. This directly inspires me to create functional ceramic vessels to serve and present thoughtfully prepared meals and vessels to grow plants in. My goal as a maker is to share the treasures of growing or creating something with your own hands. When we share our creativity and hard work with those around us it brings people together and creates a community. I believe that filling one’s life with the home grown and the handmade adds value and appreciation to daily actions and encourages us to slow down and enjoy life.
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” -William Morris
*Photos and Artist Statement provided by Lindsey Bass