b. 1973, Allentown, PA
Using the vernacular of the vessel, Jerilyn Virden uses earthenware clay to create intimate spaces. Each form employs a language that reveals its intentions. Her interest lies in the slight shifts within the arc of a bowl that determines the nature of the containment. Looking to primitive objects that have a contemporary relevance, she pares down forms and exaggerate isolated elements accentuating their sense of generosity and strength. Hollow construction allows for exaggeration of features, contributing a visual weight that floats above the table. A bowl that curls back on itself may seem shy and protective, while the force of a gentle upward turn of its lip invites a more active investigation of the object. Formed through repeated scraping and pinching, building up and finally excavating the appropriate curve, each piece retains the history of its making. Layers of glaze soften these individual marks, bringing more clarity to the form. The surface becomes a way to manipulate scale, moving from intimacy to expansion, in the way one understands a landscape by knowing both the small stone at one’s feet and the bulk of the mountain far away.