Mariko Swisher

My ceramic work is inspired by the patterns, symmetry and rhythm inherent in the natural world. Each new form is wheel thrown or sculpted, a simple theme in mind. Low fire and smooth bodied terracotta or white earth allow for greater control in line quality and color consistency. I strive for a synthesis of “nature’s calligraphy” with my own calligraphy experience. The designs that follow consider the contour of the vessel in this respect. Organic and calligraphic wild life forms are embroidered and contrasted with hard-edged geometric patterns and this dual relationship perhaps most characterizes my work. Though quite removed from my heritage in Japan’s pottery tradition, my ceramics build on the initial influence of the ancient, folk, and ethnic. These are themes without borders, developed in my own experiment and time to celebrate, cherish and share. It is for me as Ezra Pound wrote, “What thou lovest well shall not be gone from thee; what thou lovest well is thy true inheritance.”