Max Saunders Artist in Residence at Sawtooth School for Visual Art.
Max Saunders Artist Statement
My work is heavily inspired by archeology, geology, and a sense of time. Clay, deposited in the soil years ago, is wedged and shaped to pleasing forms. Often I will sketch in clay for months or years as I search for the correct weight and balance for the pot. The base forms are often inspired by archeology, pottery, or other artifacts from history. Once I am happy with the shape, I use it as a canvas for a pallet of gestural marks. I carve, stretch, and beat the clay in ways that emphasize or change its form. These marks are often read as a sign of geological weathering or erosion. I chose to woodfire my work as it adds an extra layer of dynamic marks to the piece, which can be controlled with careful loading and firing strategies.
The overall goal is to create objects that can be interacted with in a variety of ways. Cups are drunk from and their surface is explored, revealing exciting moments from the creation and firing processes. My current series of sculptural vessels allows me to take this mark making process and explore it more deeply, as the ultimate form has no need to be functional. Ultimately these forms are all for both visual and tactile exploration. I seek to create work that is visually and physically dynamic, carrying a sense of age while remaining fresh and immediate.