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Mariko Brown Harkin – Ceramic Artist

Mariko Brown-photo

My fascination with pottery comes from my desire to make art and to produce something that is not only functional but visually appealing. Porcelain allows me stretch and shape the clay in any way I chose and offers a blank canvas for my floral imagery and luscious glazes to blend. The forms I create are tight and precise with a sense of restricted volume. I use bands around the form to constrict specific areas of each piece, while at the same time creating space for the volume and fullness to escape. The bands create registers to frame my drawings and paintings of floral imagery. Blossoms, leaves and flourishes move around my pots in colors of blue and green.

The way I combine surface and form is inspired by Ming Dynasty porcelain wares and Iznik ceramics. I am drawn to the all-encompassing motifs depicted on these wares and to the compositions created by their colors and patterns, similar to those seen in Middle Eastern textiles. I also look to nature, especially the textures and contours of leaves and flowers, for inspiration. I use color combinations and floral imagery as a reminder of the beauty that nature has to offer.

My aim is that my pots will be used for eating, drinking and service. I believe that my art should be able to make a connection between the viewer and creator, even if only for a moment. I intend to create this relationship through the experience of beauty, design, tactility and comfort.