I approach pottery as a celebration of the small rituals in daily life. Every day we form relationships with objects and come to rely on them as part or our routine. We may reach for the same coffee cup each morning and find that, if it’s not there, the morning is not quite right.
Objects take on the value we give to them. There is a certain respect and reverence for handmade objects that is being lost in our culture as convenience and disposability takes priority. I believe that emotional and ecological value stems from personal connection and this is a connection I strive to create through my pottery as I imagine how my work will become part of someone else’s life.
With pottery, the artist’s fingerprints are visible, the way the object was shaped and formed is visible. Pottery carries with it a visible history of touch and care created by the artist, but the story does not stop there. As someone else begins to use the piece, it continues to develop and take on new histories of meaning through use. In this way the object becomes a medium for personal story, as well as a link between the artist and the owner. When I imagine the way people will live with the pottery I create, I like to imagine them developing deeper relationships, whether that relationship is with themselves as they take a moment to pause and drink a cup of tea, or with a friend or partner. These are relationships of care that develop over time.
Wood-fired pottery brings with it an air of the unexpected, the uncontrollable. While I began my career working with gas and electric kilns, wood-fired kiln pottery is the style that I find most inspiring, specifically because of the wide variety of textures, rough and smooth edges and colors produced. The artist cannot control the licks of flame or the movement of heat, and must surrender the piece of pottery to the kiln. Because of this, after the firing, potters are faced with forming a relationship with an object that has been transformed through an unpredictable process.
Often we face similar challenges in our own lives, as circumstances shape and mold us in unpredictable ways. Pottery in this way serves as a metaphor for learning to love what is or what has become, challenging ourselves to see beyond expectation to even something more surprising and beautiful.
Sherri is a potter specializing in wood-fired ceramics. Focusing on both functional and aesthetic pottery, Sherri creates pieces that celebrate the small rituals of daily life. She views pottery as a medium for cultivating appreciation for the imperfect and unpredictable.
Born in New York, she knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist, which lead her to specialize in art in high school and study pottery, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography at Dutchess Community College before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 2010. Most recently Sherri completed a two year apprenticeship with Kevin Crowe at Tye River Pottery.