Mari Ogihara


My medium of choice is clay for its close resemblance to skin.

I am drawn to the natural color of the material which appears soft and sensual without glaze and decoration. Clay comes in various colors and I highlight its natural attributes by juxtaposing highly decorated accents. In essence I work to create both tension and unity between the raw and ornamented surface.

Some feelings associated to my ceramic sculptures include sensuality and serenity.

The sculptural form is simple and delicate and resembles a part or a whole human figure. Instead of representing the figure anatomically, I am more interested in using the piece as a canvas to explore various painterly decorations on its surface. After forming the basic shape in clay, I approach the piece as a mannequin or a blank form.

Each human inspired form is different in how it is shaped in and out. I begin the decoration process by first shielding the entire piece with masking tape. With a blade I cut curved shapes through the tape, which segregates the patterned areas versus the bare, natural areas.

At this point, I stretch pantyhose over the piece and air-brush slips of different color onto the exterior. When the pantyhose and extra tape is removed, the white porcelain skin is revealed contrasting beautifully against the colorful snake-like patterning of the pantyhose.

Like make-up and fashion, I take enjoyment in dressing each sculpture with a couture decoration to fit its unique skin and shape.

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