Leora Hessing

Website http://www.leorahessing.com
Email Email Contact Form

Artist statement

Clay is formless. And as such, it accepts any imprint, any shape. Clay provides me with endless potential just waiting to be discovered. Yet, along with endless potential it has physical limits. As I create in clay I find myself having a dialogue with the clay: "How far can I push and pull, stretch and distort it before it collapses?" And the clay has answers. We have a dynamic relationship that makes creating, exciting and revelatory. Working in clay simultaneously focuses me on the minutiae of my creative process, and provides me with lessons for a meaningful life. Not only do I learn about the physical world through form and proportion, glaze chemistry and firing techniques, I also learn to appreciate serendipity and hidden beauty, to trust my intuition, and to accept disappointments and failed attempts, as opportunities to grow. For thousands of years people have been creating, firing, and using pots. There is a long history and tradition from which to learn about form, decoration, glazes, and kilns from across the world. Pots have long served us as utilitarian objects and as vessels with religious significance. Yet what intrigues me most is that a pot, an object so basic, and seemingly banal, can contain a spirit. Curator, Ulysses Grant Dietz, said: "Pots are containers. Some are meant to hold things, others to hold ideas. The two are not mutually exclusive." A pot can touch someone and provide them with an emotional experience. As we in the Western world have learned from the Japanese, a pot can have a soul. My goal as a potter is to meld the physical and the spiritual, and through my work, which continues to be a dialogue with my chosen material, to try to discover how to imbue my pots with meaning and spirit.