Chris RiccardoHelena, MT

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2021

My sculptures are a direct physical manifestation of my inner thoughts and moral struggles. They are frozen moments in time ripped from the on going struggle that takes place in my mind. The battle between good and evil, right and wrong and quite honestly a multitude of both morally and ethically questionable thoughts.

My head is swimming with insecurities and feelings that sometimes make it an uncomfortable place to be. I want my viewers to share in this discomfort, to really feel what it is like to spend a minute in my mind. If one walks away from my work and feels somewhat violated, excited, intrigued, and maybe even a little happier, than they truly know who I am, and I have succeeded.

My process begins with a thought, a vision, a look, a trigger that draws me to the clay. Gone are the days of exhaustive preliminary sketches and maquettes, I simply visualize how I want the clay to look and begin to throw it into a solid mass. Slowly and painstakingly I begin to build and tear at the surface, gradually making aesthetic changes as I see fit.

My glaze surfaces are scared and busy, random but precise. Once I feel that I have nothing else to offer the clay, I begin the task of tearing down the piece, gutting the sections, reattaching and preparing for firing. The work is generally fired to 04 as well as my slips and glazes. The glaze surfaces are rough but bright, helping to lessen the blow of what some see as a dark and disturbing sense of humor in my work.