Christian Ottaway's Profile

About

There are many aspects of ceramics that draw me to the medium. I love the enduring nature of pottery and the tradition it holds. Seeing 10,000-year-old pottery is inspiring, knowing that what I make will still be around long after I am gone. The fact that the custom of making ceramics has remained the same for thousands of years also fascinates me. Being able to carry on this same process lets me relate with the past. The procedure of making pots from start to finish is always rewarding. I appreciate being able to work closely with my hands, which also allows me to make a connection to each piece.
The inspiration for my work feature multiple themes, including geometry, numbers, and ancient cultures. Triangles and the number three are influential in my work because they symbolize physical and spiritual aspects of the world. They represent the threefold nature of the universe such as time: past-present-future, man: body-soul-spirit,…

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  • Male
  • Born on July 19
  • Joined November 3, 2010

Favorite materials

Ceramics

About

There are many aspects of ceramics that draw me to the medium. I love the enduring nature of pottery and the tradition it holds. Seeing 10,000-year-old pottery is inspiring, knowing that what I make will still be around long after I am gone. The fact that the custom of making ceramics has remained the same for thousands of years also fascinates me. Being able to carry on this same process lets me relate with the past. The procedure of making pots from start to finish is always rewarding. I appreciate being able to work closely with my hands, which also allows me to make a connection to each piece.
The inspiration for my work feature multiple themes, including geometry, numbers, and ancient cultures. Triangles and the number three are influential in my work because they symbolize physical and spiritual aspects of the world. They represent the threefold nature of the universe such as time: past-present-future, man: body-soul-spirit, and living: birth-life-death. Also, an equilateral triangle is a symbol of balance or completion, having three sides that support each other. Depending on the orientation of a triangle, the meaning can be different. An upward point represents masculinity, fire, heat, wisdom and truth, while a downward point represents femininity, water, cold, body, and natural world. As with the triangle, my form can often look either masculine or feminine depending on its orientation. The basic idea of a tripod pot initially came from looking at ancient Chinese ceramic and bronze works. The form of the Li tripod from the Shang Dynasty had the most lasting impact in my ceramics. These pots from the 13th to 11th century were originally designed to have a greater surface for exposer to a cooking fire. Although my own work is not made for this purpose, the three-legged form reflects on triangular symbolism. Using the ancient Chinese form, along with triangles and the number three has allowed me to build a body of work that reflects my way of thinking.

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