I was compelled to find a way to create forms that embodied the unique symmetry of this 60-atom molecule of carbon. My porcelain "Buckyballs" involve the union of 20 hexagonal and 12 pentagonal cylinders. These are attached to a solid white porcelain sphere with slip. An additional 60 cones are prepared to fill the spaces where two hexagons and a pentagon meet. (This is where the 60 carbon atoms are located.)
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Once attached, the edges of each piece are coated with red oxide slip, then the spaces between the pieces are filled with thick white slip. During the equilibridization stage, the piece is enclosed in an air tight system, and the water distributes itself evenly. During the sphericalization stage, the firm yet plastic piece is made spherical. To begin the sculpting stage, the lid section is cut away from the sphere, and the interiors of both carved out. During the lid-fitting stage, the preformed lid is fitted by gently rotating it in its opening and removing clay from the smudged high points. The last two stages, drying and firing, proceed in the traditional manner.
"Solemnity" approximately 3 inches in height,
handbuilt porcelin with iron oxide, fired to Cone 8.
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"Erwin Schrodinger," approximately 3 inches in height, based on
carbon 60 (Buckyball) design, handbuilt porcelain, fired to Cone 8.
The Balance of Chaos and Order
During the process of combining geometry, science and art, I have discovered how each can contribute to the other, how each is dependent on the other, and how the line between each is difficult to identify. My experience with ceramics has reinforced the belief that mathematics and science can give beauty and order to Nature's chaos. With Nature as guide, themes of simplicity and universality are developed. Imagination produces patterns of ordered chaos. There is no compromise in the integrity of the work.
The challenge for me is to express as accurately as possible an idea whose perfection exists only in the mind. While each work reflects those attributes of the ideal, it has its own unique personality. I continue to search for ways to improve on the process; yet, at any given time the evolving work represents the best that it can be. With intensity tempered by experience, the mind is focused at the physical point in space/time where artist and work meet. Here, the mind's eye gives direction to the energy-shaping form from matter.
Each work is the result of this ongoing interactive process, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it communicates the ideal. Each piece is also the consequence of all that came before; it is a statement summarizing one's life experience. Each piece approaches but never reaches a unique perfection defined by the artist. Because there are no absolutes, each work is an expression unique unto itself and is a step in the never ending journey toward the elusive ideal.
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