Melanie Ferguson



"My goal is to establish a form and surface visual that expresses an edge of uncertainty and vulnerability with the power to initiate a dialogue with the story discovered within — a story that invites pause and ultimately engages our next move."



Eroding hillsides, a swirling ripple on water's surface, the rhythmic pattern of ocean flora and their associated shadow and reflection inspires endless relationship intrigue, revealing an emotional story that challenges my creative expression and experimentation. I hand-build my sculptural forms to preserve this symbolic gesture of energy, coiling each form using stoneware, earthenware, or wild clay, allowing the clay to indicate the direction of the form. I frequently paddle the form's surface, reminiscent of tidal rhythm and flow, to engage with its inner resonance, allowing the clay to “speak” to me as the form evolves.

Each vessel is slow dried and may take weeks before it is ready for its first kiln fire. Once dried, clay slips or pigment-tinted underglaze is layered on the vessel surface in preparation for hand etching techniques that will establish a surface visual that maps a spirited dance that plays to the evolution of the story. Once fired, oxide stains (usually copper and iron), additional slips, ash, or glazes may be added and the work may be re-fired multiple times using low fire electric kilns, gas or wood fired atmospheric techniques before the work’s vision is complete.

Once a work is complete, I take some time to sit with the story before titling the piece. For me, this is a moment of gratitude, offering, and understanding - a moment of pause, and blessing, and thought.