My work has long been inspired by textile patterns and motifs drawn from the intricate quill and needlework of indigenous Mi'kmaq and women's textiles, by my research into Western textile history and the central role played in it by women, and by my mother's personal involvement in the British textile industry earlier this century.
My new series of boxes are a logical progression, merging the techniques of textiles and clay, decorative surface and form. The coloured porcelain slip is woven, layer upon layer, in opposite directions, until enough thickness is built up to support itself. They are microcosms built of fragile layers with screen-like optics.
The box is a potent metaphor because it is the perfect vessel for containing what we cannot control. Putting a lid on strong emotions or a fragile life. Additionally, my porcelain boxes intentionally utilize the feminine principal of containment and enclosure. They are a metaphor for women in ceramics, including myself, and are informed by my research on that subject. Moreover, the “black box” is a term used for something that is mysterious, especially as to function. Its externally visible behaviour is considered, and not its implementation or “inner workings”. I have deliberately left the “inner workings” to the viewer’s imagination, embellishing the external instead in an ambiguous way.