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An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Ayla Straub

Artist Statement

In my ceramic pieces, I connect nature with the functional, everyday object in order to explore the different ways nature can impact the work.  I am especially interested in the variety of sights on the earth’s surface, ranging from the different seasons to the variety of living organisms.  No sight stays the same all year round, the surface changes throughout the year as the seasons change.  By merging pottery with the ever-changing elements of nature, I am able to play with similar materials and bring a new meaning to the reality that our lives are so closely intertwined with nature through everyday objects.  I incorporate aspects of nature in with the standard container including shaping the container itself to resemble something found in nature, using the colors and textures of a certain environment in the glazing, and using decals of plants themselves to add to the piece.  Depending on what technique I use, the point at which the natural component is added differs.  It could be added right as I start shaping the clay for the piece, it could be added when glazing, or it could be added after the piece has been fired.  The connection between nature and the everyday object highlights where the objects came from; we are able to create objects out of natural resources, but we are not able to reverse these actions.  Being able to connect the organic and the inorganic in a variety of different ways demonstrates the complex relationship between the natural world and the constant desire to use these resources to create objects.

Leaf Container, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019

Succulent Pot Set, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019
 

Pumpkin Container, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019

Pumpkin Container, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019

Snowman Container, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019

Snowman Container, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019

Leaf Vine Vase, Stoneware, Glaze, 2019