Circus Folks

2015-2016. Glazed ceramic with India Ink.

Artist Statement

I have been fascinated by circuses since my godparents took me to see Ringling Brothers as a child. The girls on the elephants. The man riding a motorcycle around a metal ring above our heads. Popcorn under my feet. As an adult, I have toured with a local punk circus, Cyclecide. Performing as a clown, even at the extremely amateur level, has granted me entry into this world and allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people I’ve met.

This series celebrates circus performers and the work they do by attempting to capture one particular moment in time; to distill the motion, lights and glamor into a single expression – a ringleader about to lay a look on the audience before introducing the next act, a bearded lady checking her face before curtain, a schnauzer popping out of an elephant costume in front a startled audience.

I wanted to embody circus performers through the traditional medium of ceramic because circuses are a mirror for the real world. About six months ago, I found a new type of clay – no matter what you glaze you put on it, it will craze (crackle), which means that with careful application of Sumi or India Ink, it’s possible to stain the cracks. This material begged to be used for large sculptures that juxtaposed a traditional form against unusual content. I made a clown and the rest of the series just came from there.