Trash Plates and Trash

All of these pieces are inspired by the French Renaissance potter, Bernard Palissy. His large ornamental plates and platters were decorated with the flora and fauna of his immediate environs, often cast from live specimens. My plates include things I pick up on walks, then recreate in clay. I think of them as portraits of a place in time, where things that have been thrown away regain value through processes of observation and making. 
Covid 2019

Covid plate, aka Fuck 2020

The unnatural colors and outrage of discarded plastic gloves and masks ending up at the bottom of the ocean. Re-made in clay, they become hosts and habitats to other organisms, recolonized, repurposed. No tomb should be without a covid plate as immunization in the after life.
Never forget the last four years!
Gloves and mask, hydrox cookies, virus balls/pods, worms, straws, shells, Mar-A-Lago matches, pebbles…
No piece is attached, providing endless combining of vitrified debris play.
Terra cotta


Trash Plate 2018

First Trash Walk, S. Philly, 2018

This is the first plate I made from elements picked up on a walk. I like the tension of pairing man-made garbage with the detritus of the natural world. Even in death, the colors of advertising remain true.
Terra cotta
Credit None, trash plate

Credit None, 2018

Again, a local walk around my neighborhood produced this assemblage on sex, money and death.
Terra cotta
Weakfish Special trash plate

Weakfish Special, 2019

It saddens me no end that the plastic pollution we create can now be found in the tiniest cells of all living organisms. This coupled with over-harvesting means mass extinction. The Weakfish, once plentiful in the mid-Atlantic, is already well on its journey to existing only as a souvenir. How do we find our way back to being respectful partners to the natural world?
Stoneware
Walk on Wye Island ceramic plate

A Walk on Wye Island, 2019

I was lucky to visit Wye Island Sanctuary this past Spring before Covid-19 restrictions set in. The air was fresh with the bitter fragrance of rotting Osage fruit. The elements are assembled but not fixed to the underlying plate, painted with a map of the place.
Terra cotta
Here’s some of the work in context, at 8 Women Create, a show in Pittsburgh in 2018 at Eberle Studios and Gallery in Homestead, PA.

 

Here is a small library of local trash that I hope to keep documenting and expanding.

If you’d like to stay connected for news, join my mailing list.