Artist’s Statement

I recognize an inherent beauty in pots based on their relationship to human need and their potential for making human connections. Their usefulness provides access to the thoughts, processes and pleasures that are part of a day at work in my studio.

As a potter, my studio practice is one of inquiry. The questions that direct what I make may become focused or change as a result of different types of information. I look to a range of ceramic traditions from Europe, Asia and the Near East for my understanding of pottery form. Questions and directions arise in considering how pots function in their domestic settings. The making process itself generates possibilities. An unexpected glaze result or the specific way that slip lies over a new form may begin a new investigation.

I am interested in the patterning and layering possibilities of manipulating wet slip over clearly stated pottery forms. Glaze becomes yet another layer interacting with the information already there. Each stage holds the potential of informing the others meaningfully.

These pots are wheel thrown and trimmed. I often apply and manipulate slip on the surface which may or may not be textured by carving the partially wet clay. They are later glazed and fired to maturity in a reducing atmosphere.

Making Pots must always feel like a personal indulgence. While personal, pots also need to be democratic to be compelling as beautiful and useful things. The effortless quality of a line made in slip and the use of radial and concentric patterns have parallels in the forms of our natural world. These shared understandings help the pots to communicate.

I want my pots to resonate with the pleasure I get from making while attempting to find shared notions of what is beautiful and true.

Todd Wahlstrom