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Margaret O’Rorke(b. 1938): Incorporating Light and Water Into Clay

Margaret O'Rorke, Waves
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Margaret O’Rorke, Waves

Margaret O’Rorke describes sitting in her garden and showing a friend a vessel she had made, holding it up to the light, and being struck by the beauty of the translucence, and wanting to pursue this quality in porcelain.  It’s a process of learning from each piece, because you don’t know how the light will come through it until the piece is finished. She hopes the feeling in her hands when she moves the clay will be felt by those who encounter her work, and share in the pleasure she receives from the clay.

Margaret O'Rorke. Photo by Alberto Ferrero.
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Margaret O’Rorke. Photo by Alberto Ferrero.

O’Rorke began as a painter, and then became a potter.  In 1992, she spent several months with Japanese potter Koie Ryoji and was influenced by his inventiveness, as her amazing clay lights demonstrate.  Her manipulation of the porcelain clay reminds of Stratoz when he’s stretching dough for his grandmother’s strudel recipe, stretching it until light passes through.  I love how O’Rorke has taken her revelation and had adventures with it, learning a whole process of making functional lighting, as well as invoking wonder with her translucent creations.

More Margaret photos at my Margarets Pinterest Board

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