Christina Erives, Los Angeles, California
Ceramics Monthly: How do you come up with the forms and surfaces that are prevalent in your work?
Christina Erives: I prefer to imagine a certain object before looking at it for reference to see how my hand might change it and create a more stylized version. In this way, I think pieces start to develop unique characteristics that can be recognized as my signature. I typically use mishima inlay techniques on most of my surfaces and color the remaining areas with vibrant, opaque underglazes or glazes. Once I started focusing on basic handbuilding techniques and using these thick mishima lines on surfaces, everything sort of clicked more naturally in my making process. I think identifying these few specific techniques helped me to create a more cohesive balance between the way I approach both two- and three-dimensional objects. I enjoy playing with form and surface and creating narratives among everyday objects. Visual representation comes and goes in my work, much like a story that gets stretched over time in its telling. I want my pieces to carry that same sense of stylized information.
CM: What is the most challenging aspect of working in clay?
CE: The sometimes unpredictable nature of working with clay can be challenging, but also rewarding. I am always anxious to open a kiln and see the final results. Even when it’s a form or glaze I’ve worked with hundreds of times, the outcome at the end doesn’t always feel guaranteed and is sometimes very surprising. There is so much transformation that takes place when working with clay. You can see visible changes in a piece throughout its stages, almost as if you are in a collaboration with its inherent nature. I think many of us working in this medium crave the challenges of clay and value each object, whether good or bad, as a piece of information to learn from. Ceramics is a very exciting medium; even when you’re trying something new and have all these failed attempts, you can still feel like you’re getting closer to a hunch.
To learn more, visit www.christinamargarita.com.