Polina Miller

Ceramic Jar

10 x 5 x 5 inches

ceramic

 

My life in Russia was influenced by the art that can be found everywhere in Saint Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, as well as by the wild beauty of the Russian forests and lakes at my family dacha.

In all of my years as a potter living in America, my artistic vision has evolved to a desire to fuse art with nature. I try to create functional art that evokes nature’s forms and colors, and that offers utility and inspiration when brought into a home. I want my pots to attract and captivate your imagination just like an interesting rock, fruit or a wild flower that you came across while hiking. They seem pleasant, though simple at first sight, but the longer you look, the more you are intrigued by the beauty and complexity of colors and textures.

When I am at my wheel, I try to bridge the gap between art and nature by creating works that engage all of one’s senses. The creative process at the wheel, and gambling with the flames, seem to be a metaphor for life: you dream, you strive, and life surprises you…

People often comment that there is a wide range to my ceramic works, which makes sense as they reflect my creative journey and growth. Clay is my joy and my adventure, and my work is an endless exploration of form, texture and color.

Firing methods play a huge role in the way a ceramic artist approaches the pot making process. I have changed firing methods several times during my ceramic career, as part of my creative experimentation.

Recently, for various reasons, I had to switch from high fire gas reduction to mid-range oxidation firing, and it took me a while to adjust to the new language, and to be able to see its advantages. The bulk of my work nowadays is fired in an electric kiln in my home studio, with a smaller amount of pots coming from a large wood kiln fired with a group of other local potters.

I believe that there is something special about woodfiring. The unknowable complexity of the process, the hypnotic power of fire, and the captured energy that you can see and feel in the pots… There is nothing else like it, and I really enjoy the process, as well as the communal aspect of the firing.

Potters know that to have your hands in clay is to tap into the nature of creation, a sort of beginning… But the firing process is transformative. While the fire is burning, the end is uncertain. But once over, there is no going back. That is what I love about my art, the conversation between the potter and fire can lead to unexpected outcomes. So much of art is about taking chances, and potters know that giving over their pots to the fire is always a leap of faith.

All beauty is transitory, but fire knows how to stop time...

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