Silicon Valley Open Studios

Connecting artists to art enthusiasts

Artist: Valerie Lauterbach

Sand and Water
Title: Sand and Water
Description: High-fired, wheel thrown ceramics
Media: Pottery
Size: 10 x 15 x 10
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Contact Valerie Lauterbach


About Valerie Lauterbach

In my work I strive to capture the metamorphosis from a lump of clay to a mature work proudly proclaiming its personality, and testifying to the tension between the movement of the wheel and my hands, and to the ever-changing kiln atmosphere. Just as our lives are woven from small and repetitive acts underpinning our course-changing decisions, I make small repetitive marks using simple tools, embedded in larger patterns creating the narrative. I avoid touching the surface while ballooning the form, allowing the pot to tell the story of how the suggestions from those small marks stretched and swirled and softened, and how the nature of the clay itself emerged.

While I lack the patience of a gardener or painter, I am immensely satisfied by the immediacy of throwing, the endless opportunity to try something a little differently. I experiment; I fail, or I should say, rather, that I don’t always keep the result, yet there is nearly always some kernel of understanding gained in that process, to inform the next experience. I strive to understand when the clay signals me that its statement is clear, it has nothing more to say.