Using clay I have harvested off my family’s property, I create one-of-a-kind works that display the natural beauty of raw clay. My current body of work has been fired in a soda kiln, a form of atmospheric firing that allows for a direct impact of the firing process to be seen upon the work’s surface. Firing in this way allows for a collaborative experience between myself and nature in a spontaneous way. Through my work, I aim to bring a sense of reverence to material and allow for a tactile experience that grounds us to the natural world around us.
Libby Scutt is a ceramicist from the red clay hills of Western Pennsylvania. Graduating Maine College of Art & Design with a minor in Sustainable Ecosystems: Art & Design (‘23), she aims to center ideas of environmental stewardship within the broader topic of ceramics.Thinking of clay as a “congealment of history,” she believes the medium of ceramics to be a manifestation of time and place and an indicator of ecological change. As organisms decay over time, they become a part of the land and provide the fodder to the development of red clay. Working in terracotta allows her to directly interface with the ecology of the area the clay was harvested from and better understand her relation to the world around her. In her work, Scutt questions the subjectivity of land, sustainability, and the ethics of clay through human interaction. Through the process of coiling and pinching, each new layer mimics the strata of sediments formed underground, imprinted with her identity as she handles the clay. By engaging with ceramics as a form of documentary history, Scutt aims to bring reverence to the temporality of Earth and facilitate a symbiotic relationship between potter, pot and environment.