Term of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Art

Committee Chair

Jason Hoelscher

Committee Member 1

Marc Moulton

Committee Member 2

Julie McGuire


This thesis paper examines the work included in my Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition entitled Irrational Aggregates. The goal of this work is to facilitate a dialogue between our natural environment and the excessive consumer-based environments in which we live. Combining a variety of ceramic techniques including hand building, wheel throwing, and casting these sculptures appear to be grown from, and even taken over by nature itself.

Often drawing inspiration from my personal narrative, that of consistent upheaval, relocation, and adjustment to new places, my work can appear both grounded and in a state of motion. I believe that the objects we surround ourselves with, both natural and human made, have a history, a life, and a language. By gathering discarded personal effects and sculpting new aggregate forms which deliberately consider nature at the tangible level, I am bringing to mind the epoch-shift of our consumer based society and the versatile potential of the materials we surround ourselves with.

Influenced by invasive, adaptive, and resilient plants and organisms, the sculptures are metaphorical creatures for the excessive domestic environments we construct and take with us wherever we call home. To create a sense of stability and belonging through the collection and consumption of personal effects, we close ourselves off to the natural world by bringing a little more of the inorganic consumer-saturated world inside.

Research Data and Supplementary Material