Traditional Wedgwood was created as a necessity when Josiah lost his right leg to smallpox. No longer able to throw on the potters’ wheel, he created a cast-mold system. His company used stoneware slip until death. The choice to carry on the practice of throwing is a way to further contextualize the labor that comes with ceramic making, and also elaborate the mark making that is unique to each piece that is often forgotten. If freedmen or slaves were allowed to apprentice under his company with no constraints, what may these works have resembled? Pottery is yielded from strength, rhythm, experimentation, and relinquishment.
The poetry of this practice gives it the potential to reside in the realm of fine art. As an artist, I have been pulling from themes of the Jim Crow South and Black Americana in a visual story-telling that celebrates black bodies. The pieces allude to the minstrel show and the degrading imagery used to magnify black stereotypes that are still relevant today. My goal is to paint in a way that contextualizes these ideas in the traditional genres of portraiture and still life. My research of small histories within my community and that of the African-American diaspora across the U.S. is to effectuate these ideas.