In accordance with city guidelines, The Clay Studio has resumed quarterly classes. DATE NIGHTS are currently on hold due to the pandemic. You are welcome to purchase Gift Certificates for future workshops (Date Nights will be back!)

Raymond Rorke

My current investigations in clay are about the blurred boundaries between natural materials and man-made objects. When does a lump of clay become an object? When does an object return to being a lump of clay? How is it we know? My investigations have also led me to question the act of making, especially in contexts outside of our usual notions of "studio practice." What does it mean to create an object? To deconstruct an object? How does authorship, agency, and ownership figure in an artist's creation? This is a selection of works that were "unearthed" spontaneously during the routine process of recycling clay as a studio technician. I randomly selected abandoned discards from deep inside the muck of the studio's communal scrap bucket, then took great care to stabilize surface and form, to "touch but not touch" these moments of rescued creation. The results, when fired, clarified as well as blurred: the clay could appear transformed as an object of value, ritual, or utility, while baring itself as little more than a moment of mud. In these daily improvisations I began to question the boundaries between material and object, form and formlessness, anonymity and agency. The distinctions between waste and worth, chance and choice, became blurred. Clay's ability to seamlessly express itself as both matter and artifact is an open conversation with an artist, an ongoing encounter where live performance becomes metaphor. What began as the need and desire to create while working has become, for me, a re-working of creativity - and the notion of work.


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