Inge Roberts works with various porcelain bodies and has adopted and modified Philip Cornelius’ thin-slab method for most of her hand built forms. She attaches appropriated forms from a collection built over thirty years. The pieces are painted or mono printed with stains and oxides. When bisque fired, they are covered with terra sigillata or clear glaze. All pieces are fired to cone 10 in an oxidation atmosphere. The intent is to create emotional/esthetic tension between work and viewer.
I am drawn to the ancient buildings and sites of those who came before, whose imprints litter the centuries, linking us together. I trace those links when I travel: pressing wet clay against walls, onto floors, furniture, doorknobs, eroded statuary details, and cemetery sculptures. These are small witnesses, easily eroded by more time, unlikely to be lifted into anyone’s focus. I use these molds in fragmented and distorted forms. My work is stamped and patched with symbols of ancient worship, sacred and secular texts, frivolous and earnest Gallo-Roman images, medieval symbols, the hands, faces, and feet of Renaissance royalty, Viking warriors, and monks. These tailings become the words in the stories my pieces tell, used gratefully and sometimes not without hesitation. My intention is to honor those forgotten artists. When I attach the impressions from a clay cylinder, made more than 5,000 years ago in the “cradle of civilization”, to a bowl made by me today in America, using a porcelain body mined in Europe, (which I may texture with a basket woven two generations ago on yet another continent) I feel suspended between their makers and reach out to connect them.