Artist Statement

Linda HillmanThere is no better time for me than when I am working with clay. If I am working alone in silence, listening to a book-on-tape, or to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, I am at peace. I feel good about myself. I feel competent. I am satisfied with my life. I am content. I want my work to hold this contentment, this feeling of flow.

My pots are about function, about fitting the hand, about being careful, about what will be beautiful in or on them, about finish, so they don’t scratch the nice surfaces they’ll be on one day.

My work is about my life experiences—travel, urban living, teaching, collecting jewelry and textiles.

My pots are about my experience making them—about personal challenge and growth—being knowledgeable, and able, in each of the steps of making. My pots are therefore the result of lots of technical study. I started late and I still have a lot to learn.

My pots do not come from thoughtful experiences in the natural world. They spring from material culture encountered on my African and Middle Eastern travels and a longing to make my urban-American setting just a little more beautiful, the quotidian meal a little more special.

The useful and beautiful artifacts of others’ everyday lives fascinate me. I collect them. I adorn myself—and my home—with them., Japanese kimono, North African jewelry, contemporary pots, old Navajo or Bedouin silver, kilims and tribal carpets, Beatnik paintings, black and white photographs, and textiles—laboriously-made for tents, wedding ceremonies and tables—these textures and designs are in my mind’s eye when I am making pots. I want to capture them in my vessels for food but more often I want to remember the place I first saw a similar design.