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Heather Gabriel's Profile

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There are things that just feel right.
You don't have to think about it, measure it, record it.
You just know when you pick it up and roll it around in your hand.
The weight, the texture, the shape; it's all balanced, harmonious,
makes you want to pick it up again and again.

I make pots because I tend to over-think everything. The studio teaches me how not to - when immersed in ideas of how and what and why, the pots collapse, wobble, crack, explode. But when I just sit back and breathe and let myself feel what the clay is saying, the work flows beneath my fingers and fills the board with moments of balance and clarity.

I use primitive methods to form and fire the work because I think it is important to keep it simple, to remember that…

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  • Female
  • Born on November 18
  • Joined February 10, 2010

Favorite materials

white clay, river stones, wire, driftwood, rust, salvage, weather, flame

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About

There are things that just feel right.
You don't have to think about it, measure it, record it.
You just know when you pick it up and roll it around in your hand.
The weight, the texture, the shape; it's all balanced, harmonious,
makes you want to pick it up again and again.

I make pots because I tend to over-think everything. The studio teaches me how not to - when immersed in ideas of how and what and why, the pots collapse, wobble, crack, explode. But when I just sit back and breathe and let myself feel what the clay is saying, the work flows beneath my fingers and fills the board with moments of balance and clarity.

I use primitive methods to form and fire the work because I think it is important to keep it simple, to remember that we can make the things we need from the materials at hand. Glaze is used sparingly, I prefer to let the clay and flame to speak for themselves.

I fire with wood because I love to build fires. The smell of woodsmoke, the roar of the flame-there is nothing more exhilarating than opening up the firebox door on a kiln reaching upwards of 2000ºF and throwing on more wood, dodging the incredible wave of heat and catching a glimpse of melting ash running down the shoulder of a pot glowing white. Every fire is different. The fuel used, the time elapsed, the patterns of stoking and rest - each leaves its unique mark on the work and I like that. In this time of mass-production, I think is important to make things that can't be reproduced.

I make this work because I love to make this work. I hope you do too.

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