Erin Carpenter (she/her) is an emerging ceramic artist. Her work strives to capture the paradoxical strength and delicacy of porcelain; and offers a contemporary perspective on historic architectural patterns and vintage design motifs.
Objects reflect ourselves. My porcelain pots are wheel thrown and feature meticulous carving in original patterns. I draw my inspiration from historical reticulated porcelain, reinterpreted with art nouveau inspired patterns, and filtered through a contemporary lens.
After throwing and trimming I use a soft pencil to lay out a grid as a base for the design to be carved. I then sketch the pattern, starting with a simple series of arches and adding overlapping layers until I am satisfied with the aesthetics. Then I score each cut and evaluate the piece for structural strength. My carving tools are simple: a #11 Exacto blade, a pin tool, small sponges, and paintbrushes. Everything is terribly delicate before firing, but afterwards is durable enough for everyday, mindful use.
I’ve found porcelain to be an ideal medium for exploring the duality of strength and delicacy. The almost-symmetrical patterns lend an enchanting elegance and heighten the perceived fragility to each overall form. The conversation between imperfection and beauty, power and acquiescence, strength and delicacy all resonate with my own humanity.