Melanie Ferguson

ARTIST STATEMENT

"My goal is to establish a form and surface visual that expresses an edge of uncertainty and vulnerability with the power to initiate a dialogue with the story discovered within — a story that invites pause and ultimately engages our next move."

Eroding hillsides, the swirling ripple on water's surface, the rhythmic patterns of ocean flora and fauna all provide me with endless relationship intrigue; their associated shadow and reflection, sound, smell, and effortless energy feeds my inner spirit. As an artist, these key sensory "notes" inspire creative concept by revealing a story that challenges my expression through any given medium, utilizing elements that demand physical involvement in building form and surface to expose the energy and freedom of spirit. Using stoneware or earthenware, I hand-build my sculptural forms to preserve this symbolic gesture of energy. Coiling the clay, I paddle the form's surface to engage with its inner resonance, reminiscent of tidal rhythm and flow as the form evolves with direction and movement. I then add oxide stains (usually copper and iron), clay-based slips, color pigmented underglaze, and sgraffito techniques to establish a surface visual that maps the spirited dance within. I engage many firing methods appropriate for each work, with a preference for atmospheric firing. How the surface elements attract and cast flame plays an integral role in the evolution of the story that ultimately engages the beginning of my next work.