Artist: Hope Irion | Age: 24 | Profession: Art Therapist
My ceramic work and motivation to create are based on my desire to find the balance between beauty and utility: I aim to produce beautiful objects that can be used and appreciated by others.
In both art and therapy, one fuses the unique with the functional; it's a careful balance of beauty and purpose. My process begins on the wheel, where I throw and then assemble parts to create functional objects such as teapots, mugs, bowls and jars. I then apply a colored underglaze that serves as the surface, into which I carve patterns and designs inspired by the individuality of various people and cultures. This multi-step process not only takes time—it also involves an interesting (and often unnerving) loss of control.
This is what I love most about ceramics. I can use a raw material from the earth, mold it, alter it, decorate it, add to it and subtract from it to ultimately create an object that embraces this aesthetic of balance. I then give up this control to the heated atmosphere of the kiln, as I wait to witness the results. I am constantly amazed by the parallels between this artistic process and the trajectory of human development and self-actualization, both within myself and with the individuals I work with in a therapeutic setting.
I make my work in a weekly class at Neighborhood Potters, under the guidance of Sandi Pierantozzi and Neil Patterson.
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