This work consists of a series of pairs: A porcelain vessel and a painting whose forms, colors, and textures are inspired by the corresponding clay piece. The abstract paintings focus on the energetic dynamics of their clay partners. The incised patterns and carvings, the brushed and sponged stains and glaze colors of the clay pieces are echoed in the forms, marks, and color palette of the paintings. Although paired, each work stands on its own, reflecting similarities but not as a copy or detail of the other.

In the ceramics, I focused on creating forms that tip and lean, that present a certain attitude, a kind of devil-may-care insouciance that gives them an unusual presence. I combined building techniques, usually starting with a wheel-thrown form, hand-building layers and marking and texturing the clay as it moves into space. After the first firing, I applied colored stains or glazes, sometimes wiping the glaze or stain to emphasize the incised marks. The resulting clay surfaces are very painterly.

Surrounded by these clay pieces in my painting studio, I improvised from the clay pieces to the paintings, emphasizing some areas and eliminating others. The paintings came into their own, relating to the ceramics but as partners rather than as derivatives.

—Elizabeth Strasser