There are two mentalities for the act of making: ‘farming’ and ‘gathering.’ Farmers have an idea of what they want to create and will seek out the materials to make it. Gatherers begin with a certain array of materials, and what they create is based on what is available.
I collect the clays, glazes, and minerals unwanted by other artists. Ceramic materials are essentially a conglomeration of minerals, and therefore they can be stored or reprocessed indefinitely— it just takes time and energy to do so. Through years of working for artists, working alongside artists, and working at a ceramic supply store, I have acquired enough second-hand materials to be able to experiment with and refine them. As a gatherer I take only what is to be discarded, but as a farmer I select for beauty, interest, and functionality.
About Thermotrope: a thermotrope is an organism or object that responds to heat. A plant whose leaves wilt in the cold demonstrates negative thermotropism. Pottery, the “conglomeration of minerals,” does not become ‘ceramic’ until it undergoes the high temperature firing of a kiln, demonstrating positive thermotropism.