Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
School of Art
Archeology often evaluates social class through the symbolism and refinement of ceramic pottery. Recording undecorated and decorated vessels placed within a spectrum, determines a social economy through the Ceramic Value Index. Austere, robust earthenware is usually considered peasantry or lower class whereas fine, opulent porcelain is categorized under the vessels of aristocracy or affluence. I am interested in utilizing this historical method to consider use, decoration, and value through the lens of the contemporary working class.
In my work, I employ simple molds and hand-building techniques to define a process that relates to the “economy of means” found within a lower to middle class household. This creates an aesthetic that is recognizably handmade, holding its value in contrast with standardization. The range of my work extends from the everyday pots to the formal serving wares in attempt to replicate this empirical tool of archeology known as: the Ceramic Value Index.
My pots are decorated to define its functional purpose. The tableware pieces are made simply with molds to showcase repetition and consistency with a single glaze for practical purposes. Other vessels, such as the tureen, are glazed superficially with majolica to substitute porcelain, masking most of the earthenware, creating a surface that invites decoration. These larger serving vessels are also mold driven and slab built to reveal their construction- allowing for moments of improvisation to generate crude ornament.
Barreca, George Dominic, "Sunday Dinner" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 745.