Welcome to the art of Teri Carson, determined, courageous and drastic. I teach wheel throwing and some handbuilding to small groups of mostly adults who want to explore a medium they have been intrigued with for years but have had little opportunity to discover. I also create functional, mostly wheel-thrown, one-of-a-kind vessels within which I want you to see the process, not hide it. I want the process to be part of the meaning of the pot. I often start with this “perfect” form thrown on the wheel, But that is just the beginning. It now needs to show the reality of humanity. It needs to show life happening to it. There are trials and long dry spells through which we are pushed and pulled and molded into a different shape, becoming something that adds to the beauty of the world.
For a while now I have admired work that is drastic, usually in form, but also in surface. I admire the beauty of extremity in one direction, like the over-elongated neck in a vase, the belly of an urn stretched beyond what seems possible, the combining of a wide range of colors that never pass into garishness. All of these speak to me about standing out in a crowd in such a way that says, “I can be odd, and even jarring, but this uniqueness never leaves the realm of beauty, but rather increases it by giving it a deeper meaning.” This has served to, thus far, keep Steven Hill solidly as my pottery hero. I strive to one day rival his skill to over-extend the bounds of what clay wants to do. I do not want to reproduce his work. I want to finally be able to produce the drasticness of what my creativity can imagine. So my work grows bigger and/or more pushed with every exploration as my skill increases.
The Japanese style of wabi-sabi has resonated as the strongest historical reference for me and my work. Foremost is the “wabi”: For me, this is not in the ultra-simpleness of a piece, rather in the idea of accepting imperfection. For me this is seen in the rustic, yet refined, solitary beauty, the one of a kind, accidental elements (even flaws) which give elegance and uniqueness to the whole. Secondarily is the “sabi”: I love the idea that beauty stems from age, changes that happen over time only serving to make things more valuable. I love to show this beauty that was born from the process that happened to the pot while being made. The pot always has flaws and garbage and irregularities, and is bumped and bruised and scored, and yet it is not broken, nor useless, nor discarded, but rather now more valuable for its new form. It is seasoned, looking wiser and more useful and more beautiful than before. In this way I use the “flaws”, the garbage, and warping in my pots to illustrate that beauty can come from ashes.