Dimensions: 10.5″ x 5″ x 8″
This original sculpted vase is handmade using coiling, modeling, and carving techniques. Although this vase is not functional for holding water (read below for how this connects with the meaning of the work), the sculptural components of the piece speak on an aesthetic level. A life-sized hand is squeezing, or choking, the neck of the vase/jug, and the vase meanwhile remains open enough to accommodate the stem of a single flower. This symbolizes a person’s survival amid trauma and the struggle to keep one’s heart open even when others are aggressively trying to choke the joy out of your spirit.
I use the term “pottery” instead of “ceramics,” to describe my clay work, as the term conjures handmade, more ancient methods of clay art rather than modern or more refined techniques. I want to celebrate the human touch on the clay, and as such, my pottery has an intentionality in the imperfections. Since I have launched my work as a potter after my 2016 name change, this is the ONLY medium that is signed “ND” on the bottom of the work, to honor my legal name Nkechi Diallo. My fine art career in painting, drawing, cut paper, and sculpture began in my teens, and I continue to sign my birth name Rachel Dolezal, or “RD,” for those bodies of work, for continuity purposes. Each piece of pottery is hand made, dried, fired, glazed, and re-fired at cone10, which is the hottest kiln. The glazes chosen are food-safe, and these pieces may be used in the oven, microwave, fridge or freezer safely.
This vase does not hold water, due to the artist leaving a small crack in the base of the vase. This reinforces the underlying concept of this piece, as a person (or flower) can only survive in strained conditions temporarily. Thus, if a cut flower is placed in the vase, it will wilt just as the spirit wilts under continuous strain.