Lakyn Bowman

While enamored with thrifting mid-century modern furniture and collectables, my work emanates the colors, patterns, and vibrant expression of the 1960’s and 70’s. I am captivated by finding new life, value, and joy in the monotonous by pairing vintage items with my handmade pottery. Uniting discarded items with the handmade offers the potential to bring them into the spotlight of appreciation. I am enthralled with this era’s home design, outrageous fashion, and exciting color palettes. With vintage items, the original surfaces are worn away by decades of everyday use, habitual routines, and mundane utility while still maintaining their beauty. My ceramic surfaces illustrate this inspiration through a combination of layering vintage botanical designs, colored slip, underglaze, and applied texture. My forms directly reference mid-century kitchenware such as coffee carafes, barware, and canisters.
When I first discovered the word “sonder,” it summarized the encompassing mindset I have towards life and making art and is now prevalent within my conceptual approach. It is the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as one’s own, complete with their own ambitions, routines, and density. While the word is about a person’s story, my work is more about the physical object’s existence in that person’s life. I wonder how many conversations a particular chair or a kitchen table has been a part of. Just as I envision the lives of the vintage items, I do the same with the objects I make and the people who will encounter them. I want my work to be someone’s favorite morning coffee cup and be at the center of many conversations. Combining an orphaned metal caddy with handmade ceramic cups gives the discarded object the opportunity to be appreciated in a new life.

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