Making Kin with Wildfire
Welcome to my online Grad Show!
My 2021 MDes thesis project Making Kin with Wildfire has been a journey and I’d like to take you along.
First I’d like to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples who’s land this work took place on. Every step taken to bring this project to light was on stolen lands. That of the Coast Salish peoples of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam Nations in and around Vancouver, BC. The Semiahmoo Tulalip, Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), and Stz’uminus peoples where I harvested clay at Lilly Point in Point Roberts, WA. The territories of Mountain Maidu and the Koyom:k’awi (Konkow) where I took that clay and placed it in a wildfire outside of Quincy, CA. As well as the canyons of the Jicarilla Apache, Pueblos, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), and Comanche where I grew up in northern New Mexico.
This project is my humble attempt to explore my place within these colonial histories and to work from the heart to make a better future. This land acknowledgment is empty without sincere efforts to change my actions and work to dismantle systems of oppression. I would like to acknowledge the unimaginable resilience indigenous peoples have shown resisting centuries of occupation, as well as my gratitude for the continued generosity, and openness I have experienced despite this history. Indigenous Knowledge has shaped this project and me in the process. Let this acknowledgment be an opening for all of us to support indigenous movements for sovereignty and self-determination.
Making Kin with Wildfire
Imagine standing next to trees as they are consumed by living swirls of heat during a wildfire. You feel the power and beauty of this natural force, and at the same time you realize how small and precarious you are. This feeling only deepens after walking past melted microwaves while surveying towns impacted by this unyielding force. A sense of imbalance between the sites where we live and how we choose to inhabit them is hard to ignore. Yet, away from the fire, the material culture that contributes to this disjunction continues uninterrupted. The objects we use everyday affect the world we live in.
I make 3D printed ceramic flasks that explore our relationship to the land— clay vessels that undergo a transformation as they are fired by wildfires. These functional objects are experiments in a way of making with earth that is mindful of the more-than-human— the wind, the clay, and the fire. Can we co-design collaboratively with natural forces? Can we craft with wildfire? These flasks carry stories and ask us to dream of ways to live more reciprocally with the world around us.
Object 1 – Wildfired Flask No.1
3D printed ceramic flasks. Wild Clay. Fired in the North complex fire outside of Berry Creek, Ca. 2020 15cm Tall
Interpreting these “Wildfired” Flasks
Object 2 – Ash Glaze Flask Series
A series of 3D printed ceramic flasks. Glazed with ash collected in the ruins of Berry Creek, Ca. 2020 20 cm Tall. Cone 6. Drawing connections between ruins and making in an era of deep ecological concern.