ceramic, steel wire
9 X 5 X 15 feet
Floating objects surround you. You wonder if you too are floating in space, or perhaps in water. Gravity, the horizon, and the edges of the room disappear. You are happy.
You See a Sheep is a lighting collection that uses hand-built ceramic shells to house the light source and thin metal wire to make the shells appear to be floating in space. A mysterious yet warm glow is revealed through the holes against the dry paper-like surface. The composition of multiple shells is made specific to an installation site. The arrangement, the colors, and the numbers are all determined considering the layout and the volume of the space the piece occupies.
The title You See A Sheep is inspired by two stories. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, where The Prince finds his favorite sheep in a drawing of a box. And Model T Frankenstein by Hideo Furukawa which opens with the line "You see a goat" suggesting that it is in our perception that the goat exists.
I mix paper fiber in a wet clay body to achieve strong lightweight shells, using a coiling technique to emphasize the uneven surface and the irregular enclosed forms. Then, once the clay firms up, I cut out the holes. Next, I apply color clay to the surface and then finally fire them in an electric kiln.
This chandelier that you see with 24 ceramic shells was made for the group exhibition In Good Company held in Fernando Mastrangelo Studio | FM/S in New York in September 2018. I saw this exhibition as a celebration of art and design and an opportunity to build a supportive community of the designers and the users. So I designed this chandelier with some shells hanging low to the ground, others floating high, altogether creating a conical volume. It becomes an environment where people can walk through and physically engage with the installation.
In Good Company was then invited to CasaCor, a show concurring with Design Miami 2018. Considering the circulation flow and the lower ceiling, I changed the arrangement of the same set of ceramic pieces to present a diagonal line, with a cascading tail visually leading to the furniture pieces on the right.
Photography by Cary Whittier