Ashley Gauntt  |  Ceramic  |  Arizona

Artist Statement

My latest collections are inspired by objects that have the capability of flight, some of which also have the capability of destruction: rockets, missiles, torpedoes, bullets, airplanes, jets, spaceships, and even birds. I am inspired not only by their abillity to soar through the air, but also their similarities in shape and design, and how those relationships compare. Since I specialize in a variety of forms, lidded jars, and drinking vessels, I can correlate different flying objects to these different types of ceramics in relation to their purpose. For example, I craft a goblet, traditionally used for alcohol, to resemble a torpedo, as both the function and form have connotations of destruction. The lidded vessels often resemble the body of an airplane, as both constructs are generally used to store and transport their contents.

Q&A with Ashley Gauntt

What process/materials did you use to create your artwork?  White stoneware, oxide stain, underglazes, glaze

What inspires you to create and what inspires your work?  Domesticity and how it relates to our character.

The objects I create are symbolic references of awareness of the individual: what influences us, inspires us, and how we honor our authenticity through self-acceptance, imperfections and all. This forms the dichotomy between the perceptions we choose to have of ourselves and those around us and the ongoing process of balance; our internal dialogue, self-expression, actions, language, truth, beliefs, feelings and emotions versus how we choose to grow, expand, change, adapt and evolve.

If you had to describe your artwork in 5 words or less, what words would you use?  Multidimensional, lucid, vivid, geometric, eccentric

What other artists inspire you? What's your favorite art work?  Classics include Dali and Escher. I am fascinated by unorthodox art, artists and art movements including graffiti, tattoo, and sacred geometry.

What do you want your viewers to know about you as an artist (if anything?)  I've been told I have the cleanest ceramics Studio they've ever seen. I am very organized and clean as I go. This helps me as I go so I know where I at throughout the process.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?  Two quotes come to mind: "Live a life you don't need a vacation from." -and- "An artist is never finished."

What is your favorite artist tool?  Stainless steel Metal rib shape #7 by Sherill Mudtools and "Great Master" goat hair calligraphy brush.

What is your dream project?  Build a Torii out of carved ceramic sewer pipes and tiles and install it in Japan, design and create my light fixtures, and my work featured in vintage genres publications/prop photo shoots.

What do you like about your work?  The subtle expressions that indicate their uniqueness, that they're handmade.

How has your practice or process changed over time?  My work used to have an avid expression of unpredictability from atmospheric firing processes, such as soda and wood giving them natural earth tones, and textures from the production processes. When started exploring surface decoration, it quickly inspired the transitions of my color palette and firing process. Throughout my 11 years I have made many of the objects I create now, however, they have become much more refined as my work (and I as an artist) have grown.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?  Strong, consistent, and ornamental

Why art?  No matter how much I resisted, nothing else seemed to work, and I couldn't stay away from the studio.