images © 2012-2018  by Priya Thoresen

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­My vessels focus on two primary themes; the process of learning and its role in how a person understands their surroundings; and the experience of my relationship with a former home. The series of thrown earthenware vessels, which I started last year, was inspired by a place in central Florida on Seminole Road. My family lived in a house there for a short time while its owners tried to sell it. It was built in the 1920’s; with orange groves behind it and a large lake down the hill from it. The house, overgrown and beginning to fall apart as we were living in it, and frequently visited by uninvited animals and volunteer plants. I began to draw the plants and animals I encountered there, being interested in their shapes, textures, and occasional unexpected interactions with the human occupants.

 

This has led into my more recent work. I continue to work with earthenware clay, a common material throughout history. Slightly asymmetrical forms and the marks of my hands through pinching the clay gives the work a sense of time and evidence of process. Appliques are attached with colored slip, and the dark earthenware is coated in a layer of white slip. Sgraffito, inlaid underglazes, and layering of richly colored glazes create depth and luminosity in the surfaces. My surfaces are quickly scratched into the clay, covering forms with memorized sequences and repetition in mark making My hand built work explores the child-like mental state which a person may encounter when attempting to learn a new skill, such as a second language, or in learning to navigate a new and unfamiliar community. My work challenges the viewer to forget their assumptions of how they see the world, and acknowledge the somewhat invisible influence of the everyday and familiar.

2014