melvyn herrick
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I am a clayworker using clay and collected materials to make utilitarian objects, and sculptural objects that suggest utility. I focus primarily on hand building using slabs, and occasionally make thrown-and-altered work. Using surface and texture to build narrative, I take cues from nature to create work that connects to the earth, and, in turn, connects the user/viewer to the earth. My work often references tools and domestic objects from real and imagined pasts. My goal is to create curious, commonplace objects that are at once familiar and otherworldly. I am particularly drawn to vessel forms, because they are comfortable, familiar forms that I relate to on a deep, personal level, as though I know them from other/past lives.

I work intuitively, following a stream of consciousness and the materials’ lead.

I use a mid-fire red clay body and buff stoneware, both by Plainsman Clay, harvested in Southern Alberta. Pieces are finished with underglaze, and, where appropriate, food safe clear glaze. I fire my work to cone 6 in an electric kiln, or in a wood-fired raku kiln. In my studio practice, I am conscious of sustainability, and make every effort to use and waste as little as possible. When the seasons allow, I use collected rain water in the studio. Any wood used in my work is respectfully scavenged from naturally fallen trees, the local brush dump, and the scrap bin at a local truss manufacturer.

I live and work on Treat 6 Land, Traditional Territory of the Cree, Assiniboine and Métis Peoples.

(photo: T. Herrick)