A solo exhibition by Sharon Gardner featuring her wood fired ceramic pieces.
Many of us function daily with pieces of ourselves missing. Some of us are destined to experience losses often and from an early age, myself included. We carry on from each experience as we reshape ourselves. In a way, each vessel embodies this idea; the voids do not render them functionless but they heavily influence the reshaping of each vessel. I see each one as a reflection of myself; a reflection of my loss of family, friends, and fertility. I always try to find meaning in the voids created in my life by letting them propel me forward and embrace the experiences that follow. I find the most difficult moments have a way of revealing an inversely beautiful energy. I also embrace the beauty of the voids in my pieces as I believe they, in fact, add to the piece by creating tension and energy as it interacts with the surrounding environment. What exists around this space is a momentum of undulating curves, as if created in reaction to the void. Just as our missing pieces create momentum for change in our lives as we try to assign meaning to our losses.
I strive to create pieces that push the limits of the clay; each void bolder than the last. It is with these forms I find myself drawn to wood firing for a myriad of reasons. The planning process of this time intensive firing process satisfies my need for organization, and joy of planning things-to-come. It appeals to my sense of community and helps develop comradery. It also satisfies my craving for occasional chaos and surrender of control, letting the many variables of the firing determine the final outcome. The curves of each piece and the opening of the void create a canvas that captures the many different surfaces of natural wood ash glazing, especially with the more dramatic side firing. I find myself in love with the character of each piece and the story the shape and surface tells about each.
As I look at each finished piece, strong parallels form in my mind. From the most literal of wide curvy hips to the real and metaphorical trip through the refiner’s fire; emerging stronger than ever with beauty to wear and a story to tell.