The work of ceramic sculptor Devin McDonald asks us to see beauty in fragility. Resilience is best understood when pushed to the breaking point–the point of ultimate fragility, and McDonald’s process, as well as her product, exercises this notion. Her technique of dipping combustible organic materials into a liquid form of clay and then firing them in a kiln causes the insides to burn away and turn to ash. Originally arrangements of decaying, soaked, and moldy plant material, these forms metamorphose into shells of frozen motion. Boat-like vessels ground the seeming overgrowth of fossilized botanical matter, which spills out and fills the space around with a sense of tension. For McDonald, 3-dimensional form and ritualistic process equate to a manner of poetry, mystery-veiled and unfolding with time and observation. The highly-layered, texturally-rich compositions of this series call simultaneously to be touched and to be treated with great caution, intriguing in their metaphorical link to the body and the natural world.

note: not all pieces photographed