BFA Thesis Exhibit

Vincent Tamplain


Artist Statement

The Potter’s Journey

Pots speak to their purpose as they chatter about the gallery. The use of the familiar vernacular of ceramic vessels is the source of grounding within a body of work conversing on the breadth of functional and sculptural ceramics. I use the natural facade of stoneware to reveal a bareness and treat the pots with glaze and soda ash to give a sheen to thrown and stretched textures. I interact with the clay as a partner to embrace a vessel’s natural liveliness: I make pots with bellies that bulge and shoulders that stand tall, oddities that may not be solved. Within a series of silhouettes, I seek to stretch the expression of the vessel. The self-embodied ceramic vessel allows for the ego and persona of the piece to emerge in the gleam of natural light.

The practice of conversing with natural materials is deeply rooted in human understanding. The ability to embed archival thought and intention into matter is what has driven civilization’s creation. These creative moments through time often happened with the help of fire. These very fires breed hardened, creative communities that flourished. Within the surface of my pieces, the representation of lapping flames, slow-running water, weighted stone, and falling leaves expresses the beauty developed by the pressures of the elements. Telling the story of the vessel’s journey. Wielding and weaving elements of the natural world, I create pieces of otherworldly reliquary, engaging in the ceremony of clay to find deeper understanding. A vessel’s journey goes beyond good and evil, expanding the constructs of beauty, blunder, and balance, to reach its ephemeral state.

While spending the last three years reflecting on my past, here in Alfred is where I realized the significance of what I am doing, the community that supports me, as well as how easy it is to be led astray from my intentions. I see this process as a way of wandering. The work stands as a memento of the time spent on this journey. Come full circle, there remains an embedded since of remembrance for the places I have been and the people I have encountered in the work. In times around the kiln or the campfire, these experiences will live with me and be told through my stories.