Ceramic artist Jennifer Jennifer McCurdy has been working with porcelain for over thirty years, creating swirling sculptures inspired by nature. Living on Martha’s Vineyard, the potter strives to make her work reflect the beauty of life that surrounds her. What makes her recent body of work so unique is that she illuminates the insides of her porcelain vessels with 23 carat gold leaf. Her sculptural objects don’t just reflect movement, by removing bits of clay from the forms and adding gold leaf, the artist gives the illusion that they’re glowing from within.
Every sculpture is created solely by hand. Each piece is first thrown on the potter’s wheel, then it is altered, carved, and incised. Finally, it’s fired to an incredibly hot 2350 degrees.
The artist is known for pushing her creative limits. For the past few years she’s been asking herself structural questions like: “How thin can the high fire porcelain be before it collapses in the fire?”or “How much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity?”
Here is part of her artist statement: “Emotion fills me when I see perfect forms in nature, from the cracked conch shell on the beach revealing its perfect spiral, to the milkweed pod burst in the field, its brilliant airborne seeds streaming into the sunlight. The ordered symmetry and asymmetry of nature’s forms reveal the growth of life, the movement of life. Living on Martha’s Vineyard, island time, especially in the winter, seems to conform to nature’s cycles. As a potter, I strive to make my work reflect the balance of life around me. It is important that the patterns I see around me are integrated into my forms.”
Just last month, McCurdy was part of the Smithsonian Craft Show and she’ll be showing her work next at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, Colorado from July 3 to July 5.
Above: Gilded Coral Nest
Gilded Vortex Vessel
Gilded Wheat Bowl
Gilded Wind Nest
Gilded Magritte’s Vessel
Gilded Coral Candle
Gilded Butterfly Flame
Gilded Articulated Vortex
Gilded Coral Nest Detail