Michael Wisner

Artist Statement

“I look at the creative process as a collaboration between the raw materials found in nature and the artist (also from nature, as we often forget). Each has a voice in the process. It is important to remember art as a collaboration and not an isolated egotistical event by man. It’s an expression of our connection to the natural world. Beautiful places like Maui create a mirror that reflects inside us, waking us, drawing creativity to the surface.

This clay work addresses the innovation of traditional pottery. Over the past 25 years I have studied extensively under Juan Quezada and many matriarchs of the Southwest pottery traditions. Initially, I was drawn to ancient ceramics by the harmonious fit between vessel form and decorative pattern. Following that fascination, I experimented for years with painting.

Today, my work continues investigating form and pattern using texture as the design element. I am fascinated with simple gestural shapes and how pattern evolves as it moves over the pottery surface. I enjoy the collaboration with outdoor raku and bon-firing as they inject spontaneous elements into the work.

The source of my creativity is derived from contact with the natural world. Plants, flowers, clouds, any time spent in nature, seems to touch something in us that awakens a deeper truth reaffirming our connection to everything. That moment resonates inside and collaborates with our life experience, moving us to express the feeling in a visible form. I love the process of being outdoors digging clay and forming these objects with my hands. This work is a reflection of daily life.”

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