Melanie Ferguson



"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, a swirling ripple on water's surface, the rhythmic pattern of ocean flora and their associated shadow and reflection inspires endless relationship intrigue, revealing a story that challenges my expression. Utilizing elements that demand physical involvement in building form and surface, I hand-build my sculptural forms to preserve this symbolic gesture of energy, coiling each form using stoneware, earthenware, or porcelain. I frequently paddle the form's surface to engage with its inner resonance which is reminiscent of tidal rhythm and flow and allows the clay to “speak” to me as the form evolves. Oxide stains (usually copper and iron), slips, engobes, or color-tinted underglazes are layered on the surface of low-fired forms in preparation for etching techniques that will establish a surface visual that maps a spirited dance within.
I engage many firing methods appropriate for the applied surface and the clay used in 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 completion and beginning of my next work.