For Keep’s Sake
“For Keep’s Sake” utilizes clay to provide a gift of two parts, an experience and a tangible object. This work revolves around the ideas of revelation and interaction, sparking curiosity and establishing a connection. Clay capsules lay waiting for a participant to engage with them. In an ideal situation, myself or a volunteer would demonstrate how to proceed, taking a capsule and breaking it to reveal its contents. The capsule crumbles in hand or collides with a hard surface in a moment of catharsis and discovery, a moment similar to what one might feel in cracking open a geode to reveal the crystalline structure within. Each object inside is unique and made to be held and explored through the senses of touch and sight. Exploration of the form and texture allows a somewhat alien composition to become familiar. Evidence of my hand in making these objects becomes apparent as the shapes conform to the hands of those who interact with them. This conversation, the connection created by a handmade object held in hand, is the goal.
In making this work I am as close to magic as I have ever been. I spent my time and energy employing the nature of ceramics, combining earth, water, fire and air to create something that someone else will have, hold, and interact with, and which will hopefully let them experience that same magic, at least in that moment of discovery.
This iteration of “For Keep’s Sake” was a smaller scale version of what I had originally hoped to create. I wanted to make around 300 objects to give away at an in person reception for our capstone. As facilities closed down on campus I was only able to complete about 150. The real limiting factor turned out to be the size of my audience. Only three people would end up participating in the event, 1% of what could have been. In light of this I decided to focus my time on the individual capsules instead of working en masse. I chose nine objects at random and created capsules for them, devoting time to decorate what I knew would be destroyed. In the end I believe that this time and effort became apparent and added to the catharsis.
This work will have further iterations once gatherings are safe again, and all these keepsakes will hopefully find a home in the hands of those who participate.