Flask Set, 2020
Porcelain/white stoneware, glaze
In the wild, plants have adapted their scent and color to help attract creatures to pollinate them, with the end goal of propagation. In a similar way, artists and designers throughout history have adapted their floral symbols to attract consumers that will acquire and spread their new patterns and designs. What starts out as a life-like botanical illustration can evolve drastically over hundreds of years (much like the cherry blossom and the rose share common ancestry but are now completely different flowers). Since many of the designers worked from memory, the translation from reality to a 2-D print or pattern is full of oddities and is often far removed from nature. I find the analysis of this visual evolution increasingly relevant as humans spend less time outdoors and our botanical inspired decor becomes a surrogate natural experience.
Over the past several years, I have been doing studies of the different botanical symbols seen throughout history and carving them onto white clay vessels. I enjoy the way the patterns and forms engage each other. Though I spend many hours looking at historical motifs, I carve from memory and make my own interpretations. My end goal is to create ornate, utility-based forms that inspire users to engage in slow, deliberate moments of sustenance.
Audry Deal-McEver is a Nashville, TN native who works primarily in clay and photography. In addition to earning a degree in Ceramic Studio Arts from Ohio University, Audry’s education also includes studies at Burg Giebichenstein School of Art and Design (Halle, Germany), and short-term residencies at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts’ Pentaculum Program, Red Lodge Clay Center, Hot Springs National Park, and the University of Alaska. She has had work in over 50 solo and group exhibits across the US including venues as diverse as the American Museum of Ceramic Art, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, the Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center (as part of the 2017 NCECA Annual Exhibit), the Nashville International Airport, and various nature centers/botanical conservatories. Audry currently teaches at the Belmont University Watkins College of Art Community Education Program, at workshop centers across the country, and privately out of her home studio.