“As a ceramic artist and sculptor, I choose mediums such as plywood, felt and ceramic to explore ideas. I often use the materials to concretely philosophize and so materiality is important to the work. Presently I am focused on the meditative practice of pinch-formed vessels and internal concerns around my experience as a black man that impact my way of being in the world. Pinch-forming clay is the process of the former and the latter is more often slab-built.
I am engaged in a process I call “pure pinching,” that is, making the goal of my practice to be present to the largely intuitive process of growing a form, most often, out of one piece of clay—it becomes a mindful practice. My process is neither additive nor subtractive but expansive. In one sitting I develop the form, intuitively sculpt it, and the moment ends as a contemplative object due to the visual mystery of the process, an object that is vessel-like. Though the work recalls natural objects and I reference flowers and sea anemone, these were not the initial impetus for the work. Currently I’m taking inspiration from the distintive vessels of the Jomon period of ancient Japan.” – Paul S. Briggs