I work with clay. My interests lie in expanding on forms and principles rooted in my culture: namely ancient Egyptian pottery and Islamic arts.
Through bridging the languages of function and sculpture, I hope to conjure stories about rituals, memorializing, and cultural proverbs, that feel both ancient and currently relevant.
Through the use of geometry, it is possible to explore ideas about perfection, order, and infinity that I find powerful and humbling.
The vase forms that inspire me are from the Naqada III period in Egypt from 3200-3000 BCE. The strong lines and bold shapes of that period in particular are my favorite. Their delicate finials and small bases embody an elegance and strength that are still unmatched for me.
My carvings are inspired by artifacts of water jug filters made between 900-1200 ACE in Fustat, Egypt. Although the carved designs were made for functional reasons, to filter out river sediment, the beauty of geometric, floral, and animal designs are prevalent in Islamic Arts and adorned many day-to-day objects.
But what was particularly poetic about them was that only those drinking could see the designs: it embodied a principle emphasizing inner beauty rather than the external, and emphasized an individual contemplative experience. Searching for ways to bring these ancient carvings and their narratives back to life has become one of my artistic challenges- I always want my work to feel Egyptian and build on that rich cultural history.
In the past ten years I have incorporated both wheel throwing and hand-building techniques into each piece giving particular attention to finials, surface carvings, and glaze color. The construction and engineering of them has become more complicated, pushing the material to its limit, and trying to invent new forms, but I believe the work cannot come easily. I believe the act of making is in itself an act of devotion and meditation to the beauty present and possible in the world.