Artist: Matthew McGovern
Matthew McGovern, MICHIGAN
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The inherent plasticity of clay, the fluidity of the slip, the unpredictable nature of the glaze, and the surface-altering atmosphere of the soda kiln are all reflected in my functional pots. I am drawn in by the details of a form that allude to the story of its creation: fingerprints, dents, the rhythm and pattern of articulated slip trailing and of the impressions of different tools. Within the atmospheric soda firing, the glaze shifts from matte to shiny with a gradating pattern of crystal growth in between, imbuing the surface with a visually intoxicating effect. I do not seek to hide my process, but to embrace and extol it, capturing the texture of change. In this sense, I see my work as a direct reflection of the transformative processes we go through in life.
I relish the process of creation, taking my time with all facets of making. John Ruskin has written that "our whole happiness and power of energetic action depend upon our being able to breath and live in the cloud." When I'm fully immersed in making, the hum-drum of my daily life slips away, creating a space in time that is "extra-ordinary," even sublime. I would like my pottery to do the same for the people who use it. It is not my intention for these objects to enlighten the user, rather it is my hope that my work will inspire people to take the time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, a glass of wine or whiskey, or a home-cooked meal, encouraging moments of personal or shared reflection. In a world increasingly full of anxiety and fear, and an age when we move at a super-charged technological pace that leaves us little time for ourselves, I believe that beautiful handmade objects that promote spending time either alone, with family, or with friends are crucial to our spiritual well-being.