Brooklyn-based artist Simone Bodmer Turner works with clay, and though drawn to functional forms—she isn’t a potter. Instead, she works as a hand-build artist, creating distinctly contemporary works that draw from traditional clay vessels.
Bodmer Turner’s works have character that cannot be thrown on the wheel; idiosyncrasies that refuse to be replicated: “I hand build because of the irregularities, indents, and fingerprints are evidence of clay’s partnership with the human hand to take form”, she explains. Her poetic relationship with this earthborn matter is evident in the shapes her works take as vessels and vases—homages to the role that clay has played throughout history. “I am moved by ancient forms that once held such a rudimentary and crucial role”, she explains, “keeping water cold, fermenting foods, cooking over an open flame, serving tea to honor your guests.” Her pieces are artful attempts to return us to a time when ceremony was a part of daily life, when rituals of eating and drinking had not been replaced by takeaway food, plastic plates, and disposable cups. In creating pieces inspired by more traditional forms, Bodmer Turner hopes that her work has the magic and ritual that such vessels once held.