Priya Thoresen

Artist Statement

I am a ceramic artist, abstract sculptor, and inventor of systems. My work is built slowly with thin clay coils which retain a visual memory of the marks of my hands and a history of the labor involved in the process. These coils become lines, circles, squares, and triangles which provide a structure which supports the form, similar to a contour line drawing. Based in the ideas of minimalism and the structures of weaving, I begin with simple shapes and processes, pushing and expanding on and idea within a range of possibilities. My work typically ranges in scale from small 3-Dimensional sketches measuring approximately 5”, to larger and more complex ideas measuring up to 20”.

When fired the iron rich clay which I use reaches a high temperature it begins to warp and the carefully placed lines and shapes begin to move, sometimes altering the original structure with dynamic and precarious results. I build up surfaces with a material known as Egyptian paste, a 6,000 year old material between a clay and a glaze which I apply to surfaces similar to a thick paint or frosting. Surfaces are occasionally built up additionally with glazed or accented with luster, and further “repaired “with polymer clay adding contemporary colors and re-defining my intentions for the finished piece.

-- Priya Thoresen


Born 1987, Nepal

Priya Thoresen was selected as a 2018 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist and has an MFA from Arizona State University in Tempe. She began working with clay as a functional potter at Berea College where she was involved with the school’s ceramic apprenticeship program, taught English in Japan, and participated in residencies and a post baccalaureate program before attending graduate school. Priya has exhibited work regionally and nationally in exhibitions including Red Lodge Clay Center and the San Angleo Art Museum’s Ceramics Biennial. Priya currently lives in Minneapolis where she teaches classes at Northern Clay Center, the University of Minnesota, and Concordia University.