Joan Bankemper

Seven Seed Pots

Color and light inspired me to cut through seven pre-formed ceramic pots. For decades I “covered” pre-formed pots and made “maximist” vessels and containers. They were examples of a garden flourishing with life like my late summer garden in Warwick, NY. Often while gardening I observe the birds, bees and butterflies as well as the changing fauna. But lately I have been consumed by watching light and studying how light changes the garden. I cannot separate color and light.  I enjoyed reading Goethe and his “Theory of Color.” I love looking at the light spectrum as I study the movement of color.

The Passage  

Ceramic glaze does something different from paint.  Glass due to its translucent nature allows light to pass through it.  The glass/glaze element added anticipation of what would happen as I cut through the skin of the vessel. I wanted to create a visual and physical passage in these objects, and see how color would change as the vessels were cut. The cutting allowed me to combine surface and three-dimensional “push and pull”.

The Seedpod

While cutting the forms I felt I was making seedpods.  I wanted the outside of each form to be what I felt a seedpod is. When a seedpod is set in the right conditions, it germinates and the pod explodes with life.  Slicing through clay mirrors the seedpod’s explosion; the gesture of the glaze and color mirror the potential for growth.  The end product or the flower ‘wows’ bees, and the life cycle continues, thus, explaining the bees circling the ceramic pods.