For should I see thee a little moment,
straight is my voice hushed;
Yea, my tongue is broken, and
through and through me
‘Neath the flesh, impalpable fire
Nothing see mine eyes, and a
voice of roaring
Waves in my ear sounds;
Sweat runs down in rivers, a
All my limbs, and paler than
grass in autumn,
Caught by pains of menacing
death, I falter,
Lost in the love-trance.”
- Sappho, circa 630 BC
I grew up in a mid-west trailer park. A place where love and lust were interchangeable and all the clothes were second hand. I never meant to make work about love but I remember wondering about love many times over when I was growing up. Like that time when I was seven and a boy grabbed me from behind and put his hands firmly on my groin during recess at school or that time another boy rode his bike by my yard and pulled his shorts to the side exposing himself. The young girls giggled and screamed like it might be flirty or scary not knowing the difference. I remember on that bright and shady afternoon so many years ago, I wondered about love and life and growing up with less than most leading me to that ultimate question: “Am I normal?” But what is normal?
I am someone who makes. I make many things. Some are functional and some are sculptural and figurative. My work explores the ideas and rituals behind relationships, love, sexuality and transformation. I use one of the most pliable materials out there: clay. I work with my hands, same as the people who raised me. Those people were good to me but I question them.
My figures and sculptures are steeped in mythology, science and intimacy. I am curious about the ways in which we manipulate, distort, and deceive ourselves to embrace someone. I want the material to stay true to itself. The clay to be clay. Sometimes I add other elements including electronics to my work. I’m interested in the various ways I can interact with the viewer, using my work to cultivate a relationship between us.
My pottery is about transformation and function. It is already interactive allowing the relationship between myself and viewer to be more inherent. The glazes and designs are an ode to the patterns on the thrift store clothes I wore as a child and the vivid memories of sitting at my mother’s sewing machine trying to alter and change them so that they might seem brand new again.
Jessica Rae Crocker was born in Fulton, Missouri in 1979. She is currently teaching at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ and pursuing her PhD in Visual Arts through IDSVA. She received here MFA in Ceramics from San Diego State University. Exploring both sculptural and functional forms, Crocker’s art is focused on exploring the fine line between perceived relationships and creation of intimacy. Through these works she hopes to deepen the connection between an object and its evocative potential for connection.