Shana Salaff, MFA
• Artist Statement
I make useful ceramic vessels that are designed for aesthetic pleasure as well as utility. I am attempting, via my work, to enter into the very personal space of the viewer/user’s home, thus participating in the intimate (and very necessary) rituals of another’s daily life. From the consumption of food to the decoration of the home, function and aesthetics can co-exist in all aspects of life. My work runs the gamut between traditional or historically significant forms and inspirations and a more postmodern pastiche of style, colors, and decorative patterns. I see the items that I make as being useful “jewels” - shiny, small in stature, and made with as much care as possible. I love beauty and elegance as much as quirkiness and playfulness, and my vessels seek to allow the user to share my passions. Decoration versus content, beauty versus pragmatism; these are the dialectics that inform my work.
Each new form begins as a conscious process of experimentation and elimination, begun on the potter’s wheel and then changing through alteration and sometimes adding hand-built components. With repeated forms, each new round of creation is my attempt to further develop aspects of form or surface. I decorate with a combination of pattern and areas of color, attempting to weave these fields together to present a cohesive whole that glows with its own poise. I’m trying to make the most beautiful pieces that I can, that function as well as they possibly can.