Michelle Greenway

 

 

Steadfast, stoneware, 5 x 5.5″

 

 

Growth, stoneware, embroidery thread, yarn, 3 x 5″

 

 

Unremitting, stoneware, shredded yarn, embroidery thread, 3.5 x 4.5″

 

 

Shine, stoneware, crocheted embroidery thread, 4.5 x 3″

 

 

Assiduous, stoneware, millefiori light specialty yarn, 3.5 x 3″

 

Artist Statement

My cups show many different emotions using yarn, embroidery string, and clay. I use these materials to communicate emotions and make them into tangible objects. Crocheting has always been therapeutic for me, the repetition of movement, the texture, colors, the patterns, the control, the tension, and the finished product that turns out right if all of these elements are in sync. This applies to wheel throwing cups also, as the clay needs to be centered and your hands must do specific movements to get the final product just right. Crocheted items give a great sense of comfort in general, usually in form of a blanket, mittens, a scarf, but when applied to a surface of a cup it extends this sense through a different interaction. Using yarn and ceramics pulls the viewer in to interact via touch. I chose this because we aren’t trying to critique it as a 2D artwork, we are deciphering it as it is and what it is making us feel.
When drinking from a mug it is common that what is in the cup is giving the body and mind a sense of warmth, comfort, or need. Drinking a hot cup of choice beverage is usually the few moments of the day when quiet reflection or a moment of solitude are happening. I am stating the importance of these few moments and manipulating the cups’ surfaces to elongate this time. Consciousness, healing, reflection, and self-care are very important in the day to day life. Some of my cups use more of the clay to do this, some the yarn, and some a good interaction of both. While holding a cup and taking the time to reflect, you can follow along the stitches which is made from one strand yet produces such an interesting pattern or pathway. This pushes the concept of where is your mind, actions, or goals taking you? Cups with clay manipulated on the surface forces the viewer to experience the emotion itself just in the process of being mindful of how to physically handle the cup. How to pick it up without damaging it or your hands?
Another level of this collection to speak on is the cup itself as a choice of vehicle for my intended purpose. Since prehistoric time humans have made vessels to assist them to eat and drink. My cups are assisting the mind as well as the body. The cup is a vessel, but what is it holding? I want viewers to ask themselves what emotion this cup gives me? What am I drinking from this cup? Is this what I would give to others? What is a positive or negative outcome from this? Can I sit with these emotions and ask why, how, when and pull positives from this conversation within myself? Some cups are not made perfect and that’s ok.
Having moments with emotions that are hard is something we should be encouraged to do, developing the ability to recognize this leads to a better understanding of ourself. To work through them and be able to give comfort to ourself and to others who may feel the same sometimes. Some cups focus on not giving up, on seeing the light and beauty in the darkness, protection, positivity, resilience, and persistence. Working with clay is a very grounding material. It demands you have clear vision and a plan before beginning, but also will go its own way sometimes and show you that time and patience is needed for desired outcomes.