Robin Ziek


I recognize that pottery, once a daily necessity, is now a luxury. Knowing this, I have stepped away from strictly useful forms as I look for relevancy. What interests me is the potential of clay, a not-so-simple combination of particles and elements into a malleable material. This aspect of clay, that something with no form can have any form, is a constant challenge, perhaps no more than an empty canvas, or an empty page. But I find there is something deep about the physicality of clay. This pushes me to do more and work harder. While central, the material is not the entire story: to make something meaningful, I also search myself and find that it is the personal journey that counts.

My recent work combines wheel-thrown and hand-built elements. The angles of hand-built work contrast with the centering of the wheel and I want to express their different characters in a single unified form. Form, texture and finally glaze materials are all used to support this effort. With all options at hand, my personal challenge is to develop my own symbols, shapes, and colors, and realize clay as an expressive medium.

I grew up in New York with art (mother) and music (father) in the air. Clay was my big discovery in college, where I was able to tie in an apprenticeship with the Danish potter, Birgit Krogh. Maryland has been the location of my professional career combining archaeology, history and architecture. Finally, I have returned to clay, always learning in this wide open field.