Natural Dissolve

Gabriella Cassell

See it On Campus: Level 2

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View these works in the ceramic gallery beside the stairs on the first floor near the main entrance.


An ongoing exploration of embodiment and practice

Natural Dissolve has served as an anchor point for exploring a meditative relationship with material and action. This study has facilitated a healing relationship between artist and material, founded in respect for the nature and will of clay.

Natural Dissolve is a body of work representing a longing for connection and intimacy, rooted in the artist’s desire for self expression and exploration.

Through mindfullness and intention I have been humbled

I am passionate about my creative vision

Yet I cannot bend the will of the clay to my own.

Clay behaves as clay does, I have found it to be far more gratifying to guide it through the introduction of applied technique and allow the material itself to determine form as it responds to my touch and action. There is excitement that comes with the uncertainty of success when I surrender control to the clay itself, especially after breaking past the frustration of failure there is so much to learn from embracing the organic nature of such a dynamic material.

The willingness clay has to respond to our intention is something that I look to reciprocate in this study. My respect for the material lends me to explore the dynamic of this relationship, as the clay responds to me, I in turn respond to the will of the clay and as a result these forms are created. Here I celebrate the raw expression of the material and its will.

These works were wheel thrown using a technique known as faceting. I throw the forms to achieve the desired height, then using a wire, I cut strips of clay off of the surface of the pot to create walls with edges. Then I brush a mixture of sodium silicate and water onto the outside of the pot and let it dry before finally pushing the clay from only the inside to give the pot its shape.

Gabriella Cassell

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I use the process of wheel throwing vases and vessels as a tool to explore the connection between raw material and my creative practice while being in a state of active meditation. When I begin throwing a form, I often do not start with the intent of rendering a specific shape. I just have the understanding that while I throw I will be connecting with the clay, allowing it to feel like an extension of myself and providing it with guidance as it takes shape. The most satisfying work I make is created while embracing the physically demanding aspect of the practice. Fostering that mind and body connection while maintaining a state of active meditation as I throw is what gives way for a successful pot.

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