Artist Statement
Koan are paradoxical riddles used in Buddhism to force awakening. They consist of a dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking. The best works of art like koan cannot be intellectually dissected, they must be experienced. The viewer is pushed beyond logic into deeper understandings of existence, in the here and now. My intent is to invoke this same type of awakening through the process of creation. I seek, through the act of making, to create Ocular koan accessible on an instinctual level rather than a rational one. This has become the foundational element in my artwork.

It's not the outside of a vessel that is's the inside. An empty cup is more useful than a full one. Through the process of daily creation I empty my cup. I am a classically trained figure sculptor and self-taught potter. I do not limit myself to any one medium, material or style in my artistic process. Whenever possible I use materials I find in my immediate environment to create my work. The purpose is to make the work of this place and of this moment. This provides me the freedom to let the material inform the juxtaposition of form, function and concept.

I study both the Urasenke school of Chado and the Hijiri-Ikenobo school of Ikebana. I make various clay bodies and glazes using local materials to create Chadogu (tea utensils), sculpture, functional vessels and mixed-media installations. My current work has been heavily influenced by my experimentation with various types of anagama wood firings that use ash and flame on raw clay bodies over days of firing. I create work to reveal the illusion of control.

Cody Kroll