Emerging Ceramic Artist to Watch: Melissa Griffin, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Vulture’s Dinner Plate, 11 in.
(28 cm) in diameter, earthenware, 2008.

Chicken Tray Set, 12 in. (30 cm)
in length, earthenware, 2008.

My work is a search for a connection to new and shifting landscapes, as well as an investigation of my own evolving relationship with the natural world. The imagery reflects an ongoing inner dialogue regarding the domestication of animals and land. Animals can be caged or freed by the form, and the surface landscape speaks both of cultivated earth and open horizons. Characters are whimsical, but sometimes melancholy or forlorn. These animals are a reflection of my search for meaning and a sense of wonder within the tame surroundings of suburban life.

By capturing images of these characters on familiar, functional and tactile objects, I bring them into our most intimate domestic places and activities and propose a dialogue between the user and the piece. Drawing on my faith in the innate intelligence of the motion of making, I allow momentum and intuition to guide my studio practice. Throughout the entire pot, I seek to balance comfort with adventure, and structure with romance and possibility.

This was excerpted from Ceramics Monthly magazine’s
“Emerging Artists 2009” feature, which appeared in the May 2009 issue.
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