SYLVIA RAMACHANDRAN SKEEN
Angel Fish, 2009, 4 inches long
Passage to Nineveh
Hand-built porcelain, multi-fired with china paints and lusters
Sooner or later, we each find ourselves on a mission we'd prefer to abort. Sometimes, like Jonah, we can't escape—there is no place to jump but into the mouth of the big fish. These pieces are my meditation on the nature of what rescues us from our retreat and carries us on these reluctant journeys, often to our most important opportunities. The vehicles are intimate and individual, protective even as they are fearsome.
I am intrigued by forms that blur the boundaries between animate and inanimate, ornamental and functional, feminine and masculine. Hand-built of porcelain, these pieces are the survivors of an intensive series of firings designed to build up layers of subtle color and luster. I fire most pieces a minimum of four times at temperatures from 1,380 to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Risk and transformation are central to my process and to the work's meaning.
Janus Vessel, 2009, 5 inches long
Tight Vessel 1, 2009, 7 x 4 x 2 inches
Coracle (Travelling in Circles), 2009, 5 inches diameter
Safe Passage 2, 2009, 11 inches long
Coracle (For Muddy Waters) detail, 2009, 4.5 inches diameter
Life and Death Boat, 2009, 12 inches long
Whale's Throat, 2009, 5.5 x 3.5 x 2 inches
Tight Vessel 2, 2009, 8.5 x 2 x 2 inches