Practically anything can be manufactured at an industrial level. Factory produced things may be cheap and convenient, but they come with a price. This price is paid mostly by those unnamed and undercompensated laborers, but is also borne by the consumer. We are now far removed from the things we use everyday. Drinking from a factory-made mug can make the act of drinking a neutral, passive act. However, a unique, handmade mug can elevate the experience of drinking by making one attentive to all the sensations of holding, tasting, and seeing. Utilizing art in such an essential everyday act as eating rarefies mundane experiences and brings beauty to otherwise unfelt moments. I create utilitarian objects by hand and paint them by hand in an attempt to return beauty and personal touch to everyday actions.
My pottery is also an expression of my own identity and ideas. This collection in particular is an expression of how my aesthetic sense (which leans heavily on motifs of beauty in nature) is shaped by my Chinese-American identity. As an adopted Chinese-American with white parents, I am multiple steps removed from the culture I was born in. This collection is an expression of how my understanding of my birth-culture is interfaced through white American perception, represented in my pottery by “oriental” shorthands like cherry blossoms and cobalt on porcelain. Through the medium of porcelain and paint, my art explores the liminal space between authenticity and impersonation.
Currently living in Oak Park, Sarah Luepker teaches pottery at ViaClay studio
To view more of her work, check out her Instagram @saramics.pottery
For commissions, contact her at: email@example.com