Ben Bates

Ben Bates

I am interested in the functional format as a realm of exploration, but I strive for my pieces to transcend their utilitarian boundaries and function as sculptural elements. I use the ideals of the vessel to clarify design and explore form as it relates to space. To me working in clay is more about composition, proportion and surface than it is about efficiency of use.

The dualities of this medium continually fascinate me. In my process I play with the plasticity of the material and its ability to capture spontaneous movement in form and surface. I then contrast it by introducing hard edges and lines that interrupt and accentuate the flow of that softness. I also want the skin of my pieces to heighten the viewer’s awareness of the interior volume and function as a canvas for color and decoration.

My hope is to make pieces that are able to communicate feelings and ideas without recalling specific objects. I intend for these compositions to be mysterious and open-ended enough to evoke multiple interpretations.