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erin carpenter

Location(s): 
Medium: Ceramics

Booth #: Coming soon.

Erin Carpenter (she/her) grew up on a family farm in rural Illinois. She moved to Ames to attend Iowa State University, and earned a BLA in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies in 2008. A few years later Erin took her first wheel-throwing class, and after a 1-year assistantship with Amanda Barr, she started working out of her own home studio in 2015. When she isn’t in studio you can probably find her at the gym or her taekwondo club.

Artist statement:
Objects reflect ourselves. My porcelain pots are wheel thrown and feature meticulous carving in original patterns. I draw my inspiration from historical reticulated porcelain, but pared down to appeal to my contemporary aesthetics.
After throwing and trimming I lay out a grid as a base for the design to be carved. I use a soft pencil to sketch the pattern, starting with a simple series of arches and adding overlapping layers. Then I score each cut and evaluate the piece for structural strength. My carving tools are simple: a #11 Exacto blade, a pin tool, small sponges, and paintbrushes. Everything is terribly delicate before firing, but afterwards is durable enough for everyday, mindful use.

I’ve found porcelain to be an ideal medium for exploring the duality of strength and delicacy. The almost-symmetrical patterns lend an enchanting elegance and heighten the perceived fragility to each overall form. The conversation between imperfection and beauty, power and acquiescence, strength and delicacy all resonate with my own humanity.

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