Mic Stowell

I am most interested in that which I do not know. Slight oddities of the natural word are my intrigue, the tree that grows out of a rock cliff or the branch that grows in the wrong direction. I look at such phenomena, but I am not trying to recreate them. My attempt is not to make objects that imitate but rather works that have a life of their own.

In ceramics we frequently speak of the marks of making, literally referring to the marks left on the clay by the potter. I am drawn toward what I call the marks of forming. I am not interested in my fingerprint left on the surface, but the refined surface of layered ceramic materials. This work is constructed with a process that combines coiling and pinching the clay to thin the clay wall and create the form. This method leaves the marks of forming—the small surface undulations that become the skin of the piece.

In construction, clay can on take a life of its own—lumps appear, walls move in their own directions. I have been letting these things happen to a greater extent than in earlier work. The result feels newer, more fluid, and less controlled. I am trying to develop forms that are their own objects, appearing to have evolved naturally or perhaps unnaturally. I ultimately act both as builder and as editor. Perhaps it is working through Minnesota winters that cause me to think of this work as a series of frozen gestures.