I fell in love with clay when I was five years old, the things I remember being attracted to were the basic raw ingredients of pottery: the feeling of the clay, the magic of fire, and the wonder attached with taking those two elements and creating something new. I would like to say that as I have grown up, my passion for ceramics has expanded to include more of the nuances of art, and I have certainly come to appreciate many different aspects of what I do. But what inspires me, what makes me love every second of my time in the studio is still the basics: clay and fire and creation, and magic. I try to reflect those basic passions in my pottery, as I tend to shy away from heavily decorated or controlled surfaces. Instead I look to showcase the multitude of forms that clay can achieve and the incredible colors and surfaces that simple glaze chemistry and fire can create.
I very distinctly separate my pottery into two stages; throwing and glazing. Throwing is an extremely personal, internal practice for me. I like to let my hands and thoughts work with the clay to create whatever shape springs from the wheel, channeling whatever emotions are swirling around me and transforming them into energy that I direct into the piece I am working on. Glazing is a much more external event, as I look outward for my colors and surfaces, taking inspiration from the things around me that I find beautiful; the way sunlight glints off of a lake,the dancing light in falling snow, the golden reds of sunsets, and the somber beauty of shadows. Particularly I draw from the worlds above us, photos of exploding starts, black holes, and other scenes of cosmic grandeur.
In the end I make pots because that is what makes me feel alive, and happy, and fulfilled. Working with the materials, overcoming as many technical challenges as I can find, and every once in awhile walking away from the kiln with a piece that simply makes my heart sing, that for me is a life I can life with passion, a life full of clay, and fire, and wonder, and magic.
- Will Finkel