Repository logo

Erin Doherty: capstone




Doherty, Erin, artist

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The artist's statement: I grew up on a small island town in Alaska surrounded by the ocean. My experiences and memories of it inspire me everyday. The ocean is an unpredictable force, and its constant transitions between turbulent and flat-calm waters dictate daily life of the people and landscape around it. Just as the ocean has had a lasting impact on me, family is also an essential component to my life and a source of inspiration. I connect these two separate, but fundamental elements by blending Celtic knots - representing family, with imagery found in the ocean. By blending these seemingly disparate themes together, I bridge a gap between origin and tradition. My coil built sculptures take advantage of the versatility of clay to achieve large volumes, while my carved slabs depict motifs that incorporate layered surface designs. The time consuming and repetitive action in the studio brings me a sense of peace and self-awareness, while challenging me to stay attentive and precise. My ceramic work blends art and nature to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity for the ocean in people's minds. The combination of literal and abstract illustrations trigger moments of nostalgia that reference past experiences and memories. My intimate, handmade artwork is designed to bring beauty and serenity to everyday life.


2015 Spring.
Colorado State University Art and Art History Department capstone project.
Capstone contains the artist's statement, technical statement, a list of works, and images of works.
The artist's technical statement: I use clay and multiple building techniques to arrive at my finished product. I use DAM (Denver Art Museum). stoneware clay designed by Del Harrow. This clay involves many different materials that provides stability and allows for larger, complicated structures and strength for creating very thin and large tiles. I add fine and coarse grog, paper pulp, and nylon fiber to increase this strength as well. Most of my pieces are fired in a reduction gas kiln that pulls the iron to the surface of the clay to achieve a reddish tint. This process involves choking the kiln of oxygen and produces rich glaze colors and affects, often very different than the same glaze in an oxidation firing. For my tile pieces I hand rolled each slab then used reductive and additive processes to give it dimension and texture. Each slab is then bisque fired, glazed, and fired again in its designated kiln. To make the frames and backings so they would be easily hung, the tiles were then epoxied to birch plywood and wood glue was used to secure the red cedar frame. D-rings and picture wire is the hanging mechanism on the backs. My Sea Sculptures are coil built to provide stability and to create thin, even walls. The predominant glaze recipe used is 50% gerstly borate with 50% plastic vitrox with a variety of colorants added.

Rights Access



Associated Publications