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Beauty is the ultimate goal of my work.“Rough” or “Irregular” Beauty is the conceptual basis that I use to create objects for daily use. I would contend that the cultivation of the beauty of the objects, with which we have the most intimate contact, can have an elevating and transformative effect in our lives. The cups, plates and bowls we eat from, which we hold in our hands and put to our lips, have a presence which can enhance the most common and universal act, that of serving our daily meals. In many cultures of the world these objects are valued for how they can bring harmony into our daily lives. It is a quintessentially American act to look to world cultures for inspiration and interpret those concepts and traditions in a uniquely American way. I do not want to create a mystique around these cultures or traditions, but simply observe and learn from them; how the relationship of objects and our daily activities can be elevated to an art.
The craftsmanship and intuitive process that is at play when working with materials that require a skilled hand is of concern to me in this work. The familiarity of  working clay on a potter’s wheel can make that material an extension of the self. Like a musician that is practiced and adept with their instrument, a potter working the clay on the wheel is developing a skill that is learned through repetition. After a time it is a knowledge of the body not the mind. No thought is required to execute the mechanics of making just like the practiced musician no longer requires thought to simply play the instrument.
It is at this level of skill that things become possible, that things become interesting.

James Herring spring 2015