Many Bowls

Creation Date



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glazed ceramic


This work is shown in situ for this particular exhibit.

Artist Statement

Of all the ceramics work I have made throughout my ceramics career, I consider my pinch bowls to be my quintessential form. Most often their design is spontaneous, and their size is dictated only by the size of the wad of clay and the thickness to which my fingers press it. Often when I am working on a new idea, my focus on outcomes can sometimes slow down my progress. Making something small and simple, without an end in mind, is a way for me to let go and let the process happen.

Once the general shape of the bowl feels right to my fingers, my eye and mind return, begging for pattern and texture to interact with the surface of my thoughtless vessel. I am always looking for or making new tools to impress designs into my forms; the patterns I develop are inspired by natural forms from the world around me, and geometric forms borrowed from my background in textile arts. The spiral and triangle designs in particular find their way into my work in other media as well, in the stamped metal and coiled wire of my jewelry and the colorful patterns in my beadwork, quilts, embroidery and weaving.

The impressed designs become a permanent mark on the surface of the clay when fired. Some patterns are smoothed and obscured by the glaze until they hardly show, like faded scars, others cause the glaze to pool within the depressions, highlighting their shape with added or changed color. They are the marks made by the world, like birthmarks or freckles, like erosion striations in a rock canyon wall or cracked, parched earth waiting for the rains. The surface of each bowl is as unique as a fingerprint; each beautiful in its imperfection, and the unique marks on the surface speak to the spontaneity of the form.


© Pippi Ellis Konstanski, 2014.


pottery, glaze, bowl, hand-built, pinch pot, texture