neil celani ceramics
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Know, Intend, Create

My current body of work explores beauty within the framework of functional objects and communal vessels. I have worked toward cultivating a palate of surfaces and forms that distill and reflect personal inspirations found in geological phenomena and biological structures throughout the living world. I study ancient objects in addition to contemporary design and aesthetics. By investigating materials and processes I arrive at a fresh point of view that has a nostalgic feel and comforting familiarity. I seek to communicate a desire to touch, hold, and use the pots, some of which are made and intended for everyday ritual, others meant for ceremonial occasions or sacred spaces. Though all of the functional objects I create are ubiquitous in the domestic realm I expand on the ideas using contemporary aesthetics with a nod to historical and psychological archetypes.

I am attracted to the concepts of growth, erosion, and metamorphosis. I assimilate ideas into the work with processes, oscillating color and texture to enhance the form language. I use swooping lines that echo rolling landscapes, gradated horizon lines, or amorphous dune fields and incorporate elements that transform in color, shape, and texture. Various additions of coarse materials to the clay control the quality of the surface; acts of scoring, scraping, brushing and carving resonate with wind and water eroded stone and mineral deposits. I anticipate serendipity to exploit the firing process in order to modulate and enhance the work.

I approach making with an intuitive empathy for the audience (user) to create a symbiotic relationship with the objects, considering design and personal experience. I value the social engagement that functional pottery inherently constructs by presenting opportunities for the audience to investigate, innovate, and collaborate. I tap into a primal spirit of life that we perhaps share with our ancient ancestors, a collective consciousness that reveals meaning and personal value in my practice while synchronously connecting to a broad audience.