Standing next to trees as they transform into beautiful swirls of heat during a wildfire will make you quickly realize the precarity of your own position. This feeling only deepens after walking past melted microwaves while surveying towns impacted by this force. This sense of imbalance between the places we live and how we choose to inhabit them is hard to ignore. Yet, away from the fire the material cultures that contribute to this disjunction continue mostly uninterrupted. This thesis project is about understanding where we are and using objects as storytellers to transfer meaning from a unique place of relations. It is about imagining ways of making that can reknit ways of living.
I make 3D Printed ceramic flask vessels with foraged clays that undergo a transformation as they are fired in wildfires. These functional objects are experiments in ways of making that care for the interconnected web of relationships that the objects we put into the world have. Can we design collaboratively with natural forces? Can we craft with wildfire? Can we expand our understanding of kin and use this inclusivity to re-tool our design practices in order to reconsider who, how, and what we are designing for? The hope is that these vessels carry new ways of seeing, and an imperative for new ways of acting. This ongoing project is a personal one, consisting of material assemblages that share parts of my relationships with the places I am making and the more-than-human actors that I am in conversation with. The wind, they clay, the robots, and of course the fire.