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artist statement

barbara j. allen
wood fired ceramics, soda fired ceramics, sculptural ceramics

I continue to be amazed by the limitless potential contained within a lump of clay, how it spoke to me decades ago, how it speaks to me now. While my focus has been in sculpture, it is in the mundane that I find the most pleasure. Drinking from my own bowl coaxed from that lump of clay lets me remember the quiet hour spent pulling the form, carving the foot, adjusting the thickness and curve of the rim. Doing that delicate dance between skill and intuition. Touching the surface brings a flood of memories for a particular firing and community that came together for this shared purpose. There is so much that goes into such a simple thing, so many stories that live in one humble bowl. 

For me, the practice of ceramics is more than creating objects, it is about the interconnectedness of the natural world and all things human. From preparing the clay to working with earth, fire, water and minerals, I can be in touch with the innate rhythms and processes of the world we all inhabit. It is a path to find my voice and my place on the continuum of creative human experience, leaving a tangible mark that says, this is what moves me deeply, this is what makes me curious, this is who I am.

I am so very grateful for this life crafted in both solitude and community, and for the universe of possibilities that live within a lump of clay.

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