“What we are trying to do here is bring food into the context of nature and culture. That’s where all the beauty and meaning is. The universal idea… it connects the garden with the kitchen, and with the table, and back to the garden again.” — Alice Waters
With my MFA thesis project, Close to Home, my goal was to use thoughtfully designed, handmade pottery as a tool to encourage a reconnection to the food we eat. Through a yearlong collaboration with a Swallowtail Farm, I worked to create vessels that used the natural beauty of the vegetables themselves as a starting point for their own celebration. By visually elevating locally grown food in the home, my aim was to encourage the audience to become an active part of a cultural value shift; one that leans more heavily towards a thoughtful, sustainable, locally produced food system. My MFA thesis project impresses, in a visual way, that there is genuine pleasure to be found in slowing down to reconnect to this ever-changing world that we live in. This reconnection to the true nature and physicality of our lives has one core truth: quality over quantity. This is the same truth that exists for many people in the handmade pottery and sustainable food movement.