As a ceramist I use the plasticity of the material to create forms and occupy space. To question how a piece is perceived rather than its main function is important to the building of my practice. Playing with my pre-conceived perceptions of ceramics has been a prevalent interest in my work. Function vs. non-function and the layering of conceptual ideas are seen throughout my work. The making process develops questions with in the work, that can be more significant than the object made. Allowing for experimentation with different media made it possible for a wide range of association and meaning to take place. The construction of objects was an important role, in my ceramic development.
I started to question the permanency of clay, and the traditional perceptions of ceramic through the use of erosion. Hand-built porcelain bottle forms were made. The bottles were eroded at different stages with vinegar and water. Over time the erosion by water catalyses the piece to break down to its sedimentary state. The remains of the previously eroded bottles were pit fired. The pit fired appearance lends itself to appear as an artifact. Can the decayed remains be the work, or is it the time frame in the act of destruction? This question was explored further with the use of installation. The combination of reclaimed clay bodies, and bisque work were added over the installing process. The process and development of the raw clay body was exposed in the time line view. Exposing and capturing the raw fragility of the material over time and the impermanence of the clay is the main focus in my current body of work. I hope to proceed to an ambiguous paradigm between creation and destruction.
Shannon Isfeld is a recent graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design's cermaics program, and has recently completed work for the Bars and Tones scholarship with Emmedia.