Past Exhibitions > Rockslide Sky

Mary Carlson, "Chat", 2008, 6 x 3 x 3 inches, porcelain
Mary Carlson, "Chat", 2008, 6 x 3 x 3 inches, porcelain

Artist Statement – Birds

I make a bird out of plasticine, an oil-based clay. I then make a
plaster mold from the plasticine prototype. I use this mold for
casting porcelain slip and/or for pressing porcelain clay into.

The unfired cast porcelain is very fragile. Parts crack, cave in
and/or fall off. Sometimes I try to put the parts back together
before firing and sometimes I leave the damage “as is”. I’ll
glaze the piece and after firing, the glaze and the flaw are
melded together. The flaws are a part of the object.

I started formulating my own glazes five years ago. Many
unexpected things happen to the glazes during firing. I find
more surprises in homemade glazes than in commercially prepared

I like the idea of the impossibility of perfection and the idea
of keeping an object, despite its flaws. I also think of birds as
representing spirits, be it human or other, and that they have
defects. But they are in the world, nonetheless. They combine the
subject matters of nature and of household items with the notion
of the fragility.