0 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires consists of 50 porcelain bowls which Elaine Henry built from the same clay body, threw and shaped the same way and glazed with the same formula. Henry then shipped each bowl to a different wood firing ceramist in a different state. The results show how interventions and experiences, planned and by happenstance, change the individual. Each bowl is uniquely imperfect and uniquely beautiful, like all vessels made of mortal clay. The clay, the form, and the glaze are all that she wanted to control, leaving the rest to the kiln masters and their teams.
This exhibition is a metaphor for diversity in that the raw materials are the same but the experience of the firing is unique to each site. The kiln type, the wood species, the length of the firing, the goal temperature, the weather; all contribute to the end result. Each bowl is unique, even though it started out with many nearly-identical siblings.
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