Catherine MillsMetairie, Louisiana

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (ASPN) 2019

Catherine Mills was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Catherine received her BFA in ceramics at Louisiana State University studying under Andy Shaw and Mikey Walsh. Entering her senior year, she was a summer work study at Arrowmont School for Craft in Gatlinburg, TN. She makes hand built, functional work intended for any time or setting. She draws inspiration from second hand stores, inside jokes, and secrets.

Worn-down furniture, a vase sitting on a mantle, or salt and pepper shakers are the objects in our lives charged with personal history, and they all call to me. The things that touch us, the things we touch, the interaction between space and decisions to fill that space are curious. My work is informed by moments of life lived in a space. They bring me a sense of clarity. The cup of water sitting next to the bathtub, notes written in books, shoes that were clearly kicked off. I’m interested in the idea of objects as vessels for memory, emotion, and as physical proof of our existence.  I wonder about the things we deem necessary to our everyday lives and how materials are directly related to their longevity in them. What I strive to make in my work is a sense of belonging in a space. That my pieces could have a lifespan of their own and are waiting to interact with someone, or maybe someone who knows that someone.

The forms I make are a reaction to the things I’ve touched, own, and wish to own. My decorations come from everyday patterns I’ve overlooked most of my life. I draw inspiration from second hand stores and being invited into someone’s personal space. The subject matter of my work, a compilation of the life I’m living and the things that fill my head. These objects and their use are very particular to me. I know my relationship to them, but I’m also curious as to how someone else would adopt and use them. I want to know where the similarities or differences lie and how that connects us.