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gold luster, gold leaf, ceramic and wood


Dimensions: 23 items; various dimensions

Artist Statement

This body of work is about the shame that exists with being a craftsperson that I refer to as “craft shame.” Craft shame is reinforced through the expectations and biases of academia and capitalism, though ultimately it is reinforced the most through my own creative impulses. The majority of my education as a craftsperson has been taught through some form of shame, that of wasting time, resources and precious materials, or that of bad craftsmanship due to a lack of skills, being inarticulate, or the shame of making the same work repeatedly. These different instances of shame have influenced me as a maker and informed the work.

This body of work is composed of vessels influenced by blue and white ware. I am not driven to create a particular type of form, but overall these forms are intended to contain. The titles of the work are both a form camouflage and a way of transforming signifiers that have the ability to induce shame. By using socially constructed language and redefining it, I am able to create a visual tease rather than directly stating the titles and their meanings.

The work is often elaborately carved involving a time-consuming craft attitude. It has a repetitive and excessively fussed over surface that implies an overwhelming obsessive sense of ornamentation. The process might leave the work looking cumbersome, or traditional within a contemporary art context, but process allows me to camouflage the work and mitigate the inherent shame both internalized and externalized. Ultimately, craft shame takes over and drives me to the point of obsessiveness. Decadence and excessiveness have an inherent association with shame. The use of gold luster and gold leaf reinforce my desire to create a decadent surface. I view the process that my pieces go through as very human. Underneath the surface, there is always another story.


© Peter Raymond Ronan, 2015. Photo Credit: Allison Corona.


ceramics, pottery, carved, fantasy, delicate, container