Paint and handwork

These are all the freshly primed trays, in the paint booth at Economy Auto Body. After the CNC cutting, I put another 15 hours of labor into sanding them to get them ready for priming. That’s roughly 45 min per tray. Now, its another round of sanding before the flake and gloss coats go on.












While I’ve been rubbing my fingertips raw, I have been thinking quite a bit about what sanding is, and what it represents in my work. I have come to define the process of sanding as a repeated motion with the goal of refinement. This refinement is definitely a result of intensive labor, however the end product will have almost a manufactured appearance. I will have removed all the ‘handwork’ from the trays, but only through extensive handwork. Its a bit of a conundrum.

There is a critical conversation in the field of contemporary ceramics that I am quite interested in; what happens when the fields of Art, Craft, and Design intersect? I think its clear when something is made within the field of Craft. Its also clear when something is within the field of Design. Maybe less clear when something is in the gigantic field that we now call Art. I hope that my work doesn’t fit neatly into any of these parameters. I want to able to bounce between them, because I think that approach delivers a far more interesting object to look at and to think about. These new trays are my efforts in working more as a designer, and they definitely feel that way. But ironically, they require just as much handwork as the pots I make for them. Your comments, as always, are welcomed.