Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

Committee Chair(s)

John Neely


John Neely


Jerome Murphy


Marissa Vigneault


This thesis exhibition is a presentation of my research into historic and autoethnographic analyses of social, material, and technical practices that support the production of atmospheric-fired stoneware and porcelain vessels. My work examines contemporary ceramic processes of wood-firing, salt-glazing and wood ash glazes and how they continue craft practices of historic traditions.

By critically examining the ceramic studio as a ground for material and ethnographic research, I aim to better understand the social conditions that support and produce atmospheric-fired ceramic practices in the 21st century, as well as how and why we continue to create such pots. My practice-based research involves the procedures of wheel-thrown ceramics and atmospheric-firing, and the use of locally sourced glazes.

I am fascinated by the interaction of clay, sodium vapors and wood ash; how ceramic material and kiln technology have the ability to produce a ceramic surface that directly references the ceramic process. My object-based work finds inspiration from the aesthetic qualities found in the salt-glazed ceramics of 13th to 17th century Western Europe, 16th century Japanese Shigaraki ceramics and the pottery of colonial America. Embedded within my work is recognition of ceramic history coupled with a reflection on contemporary life.

Included in

Ceramic Arts Commons