I make vessels that are utilitarian in nature and encourage a dialogue between user, process, material, and self through a series of recollections.
Clay materials inherently record their history. Chemical compositions trace the history of clay in space, while physical attributes can recognize the maker’s touch. By choosing clay compositions and working with them in ways that promote this recognition of touch, I can interact with the naturality of the materials and evoke memories that are recollections of the making process. These memories are further evoked and evolved through the firing stages. The material compositions that I use are reactive to both the touch of the maker, as well as to the atmosphere in which the vessels are fired. As the kiln is fired, material and fire interact, allowing for the atmosphere to be imprinted onto the surface of the vessels, recording this dialogue as a painting of memories.
I am interested in how this dialogue of process, material, and self can be further evolved through the influence of the user. With everyday use, I believe that past memories are recognized, all while the user forms their own memories with the vessels. These memories accumulate and form a relationship between vessel and user. Because of this, vessels are constantly changing, creating an accumulative experience and heightening the quality of life through thought-provoking reflection.
-- Casey Beck
Casey Beck received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics at The University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the spring of 2019. During his undergraduate studies, Beck fell in love with atmospheric firing methods and has received numerous grants to pursue research in down-firing both wood and soda kilns, along with investigating materials within these atmospheres. Beck has shown his work locally at galleries such as The Phipps in Hudson, WI and at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN, and has been included in many national juried exhibitions. He spent the summer of 2018 as a resident artist at the Cub Creek Foundation in rural Virginia making pots and choppin’ wood. Beck currently lives in St. Paul, MN and works at Northern Clay Center, peddling wares in the sales gallery and teaching classes. He is a recipient of the 2020 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant in which he will continue to seek understanding of the process of down-firing soda kilns.