My ceramic art practice has always started and ended with words and poetry. Words are to my ceramic work like any mark, decoration, or design. As well as being a ceramic artist I am also a poet, and in my current practice it is these words that are used in the creation of my ceramic vessels.
It is important that in both mediums (on paper and on clay) the words are pared back, spaced, and laid out in a way that is both deliberate and happenstance at the same time. Each letter stamped into the clay is applied in a similar way to the organic nature of the vessel, creating work that in its mark and shape, hopefully harmonise.
It is also a deliberate act to colour the text to look inky and brown, occasionally having another colour enter the mix highlighting a word or phrase. More often than not the poems (although most already existing) find their own rhythm on each pot, swirling, climbing, hiding amongst and along the simple hand built and draped vessels.
A strange thing has happened along the way also… I have found putting the words from the pages of my poetry books to a ceramic vessel has allowed the poems to have a different audience. Someone who wouldn’t normally like poetry in the form of lines on a page are led into it by means of clay. Some vessels need to be moved and turned to read the poem, some people touch to feel the indentation of words. The poem becomes an object that can be held… a keepsake, a message, a story… just in different clothes.
Kylie Johnson 2011
Kylie Johnson he unopened everyday 2011
Kylie Johnson and the stars like you 2011