For the past 30 years, Jennifer McCurdy has been handcrafting porcelain vessels. Living on Martha’s Vineyard, McCurdy is privy to nature’s cycles . Interestingly enough, it’s usually winter which inspires McCurdy. As you can imagine winter blows through the island and weather phenomenas strike with a vengeance.
Here are the structural questions that McCurdy tries to answer with her work…
How thin can the high fire porcelain be before it collapses in the fire?
How much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity?
How can the structural form be integrated with the visual, as in nature?
How can the movement of the potter’s wheel and the fire of the kiln be reflected in the finished piece, which is rock-hard and permanent?
McCurdy herself describes her work, “Emotion fills me when I see perfect forms in nature, from the cracked conch shell on the beach revealing its perfect spiral, to the milkweed pod burst in the field, its brilliant airborne seeds streaming into the sunlight. The ordered symmetry and asymmetry of nature’s forms reveal the growth of life, the movement of life.”
Porcelain is one of the hardest and most resilient of all ceramic materials, but McCurdy, seamlessly, it seems, enables to give her pieces the illusion of being delicate and free-flowing!
How the artist turns a wheel-thrown pot into a “lighter than air” vessel is beyond us. That’s probably why we’re fascinated with all of McCurdy’s pieces. Rarely is an artist able to evoke such movement in ceramics… McCurdy is truly unique!