Title: Untethered Vase
This one of a kind vase was built by hand through the coiling method. Rachel/Nkechi sculpted a bird being tethered to the bottom of the vase, fighting to break free. In the drying process of the clay, the tethering cord broke and the bird freed itself. Perhaps her wings were too strong to hold her down! The cry of the beak, the flex of the wings, and the grasp of the foot of the bird all emote a feeling of desperation for freedom.
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 holds water and is functional as well as emotive and decorative.