Wood-fired vessel by Young Mi Kim

Wood-fired vessel by Young Mi Kim

United States
Ash-glazed ceramic
9″ high x 7″ diameter

Young Mi Kim is a South Korean ceramicist who works and teaches in Woodstock, New York. Young Mi’s sculptural ceramic pieces are hand built. She layers strands of clay in a coil, slowly and carefully working upward as she discovers the shape. She writes, “In essence, each layer marks time and space. When I hand build my pots, it is a form of meditation. It is my attempt to live in grace: like an open vessel, empty and yet full.” Young Mi is also a gardener, and her time in nature clearly influences her work. Her sculptures often resemble flowers, seed pods, fungi and other organic forms.

Each year, Young Mi spends a couple of weeks with other ceramicists, sharing a wood-fired kiln. The fire must be kept burning 24 hours a day, so they take turns feeding it. It is her favorite way to fire her work, and one can understand why. The swirling ash in the kiln adheres to the surface of her vessels, creating elemental textures and colors that are completely unpredictable, and totally unique.

This pod-like vessel exemplifies the surface texture achieved in a lively fire: it seems to have been pulled from the long-sunken wreckage of a ship.

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