When I built my studio in 2003, I called it "Simply Functional Stoneware," because I learned to work in clay to fulfill a basic need: vessels for food. But along the way, I began trying new techniques and shapes, carvings, impressions and additions. At some point, I realized I was recreating a portion of my childhood landscape in Florida. I was finding new ways to describe a habitat of empty shells, fossils and rocky artifacts, tumbled glass, driftwood -- what remains. It's not dissimilar to what happens to everything, including us. In time, I realized I no longer needed words to describe what I remember about the past. What I make in clay now is more complicated than it used to be, and some of it isn't even functional anymore, beyond a desire for expression and interpretation. Regardless of its function, clay has become -- for me -- the medium of memory and preparation for what comes next. 

© 2018 by Laura Clemons at Simply Functional Stoneware, Cookeville, Tennessee

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