Art is a kind of magic you perform for the delight of yourself and others.

I have always made things, taken two or more elements from the world around me and fabricated them into something new or different or provocative, rearranged them in a way that satisfied my sense of aesthetics or my desire to say something about the world.

Over the years my materials changed — from the found objects of my youth, through textiles to clay. Oh clay! In clay I found the most seductive medium — primal, soft, moist, cool, responsive, forgiving, sometimes unpredictable, always a challenge. In clay I found something willing to express whatever I wanted to say.

But what to say? What issues do I want to explore?

I want to explore living forms: humans and animals, sometimes fruit and vegetables. These living forms are constantly changing governed by their own essential structures as well as the principles of growth and decay. The complexity of living forms offers a serious challenge beyond the challenge of the clay.

In the human figure I find a form that speaks to the human condition in a direct and unambiguous way. This form is not a metaphor for humanity but rather represents some fragment of humanity frozen in time, or perhaps itself broken into fragments, the smaller part evoking the larger.

Along with the shape of these living forms I want to explore philosophical issues, starting with the fundamental dialectic of the yin and the yang in all of its conceivable representations. I want to explore the relationship between anatomy and geometry, between anatomy and gravity. Sometimes I want to explore social commentary and sometimes I want to explore existential angst. Often I am content just to allow my mind take the role of an engineer, trying to figure out how to get from here to there, from this unformed, amorphous lump of moist earth to this particular, special representation.

Sherri Cavan