Mackenzie Kelly


Mackenzie Kelly 300x375.pngSharing a meal can be an important part in connecting with those around you and learning about their experiences. I created a dinner set to celebrate coming together and talking about our differences like my family does at our dinner table. My goal was to create something that would invite conversation and encourage unity through something as simple as sharing a meal. It’s important to me that these dishes were not only functional, but felt good in people’s hands, while being enjoyable to use. Each dish was made the same way, but no two pieces are exactly the same, which is the beauty of pottery. The pieces here are glazed two different colors, black and white, because I wanted the dinner set to look as unique as possible while still being cohesive. A handmade dinner set like this one exhibits the uniqueness and humanity that is complementary to the individuals who use it.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to handmade, functional items. Whether it be a thrown mug, carved spoon, or knitted hat, there's a sense of satisfaction and imagination in making something useful. In an increasingly hands-off technological world, clay allows me to be hands-on with my creativity and expression. I took my first ceramics class in high school, which is where I fell in love with clay. There was something about learning to listen and move with the material that was so intoxicating. The challenge of making sure not to push the wall of the pot too far, while still achieving the form I wanted was thrilling. I felt an eagerness to learn how to make the potter's wheel an extension of myself. It was no longer enough for me to experience things visually. Clay pushed me to discover how things actually felt in my hand and it taught me how I could control that relationship. The pots I make are for everyday use; but my intent is that the user will engage with the piece through more than its intended function. I’m connected with the clay through every stage of its development. My hands are constantly touching the material and each piece demands my full attention. Once fired, that intimacy is locked in and will be passed on to the user when they feel and use my work. This connection is what pushes me to make more pots. I’m constantly seeking how I can make that bond more significant and more meaningful.