Steeped in archetypal and personal symbolism, the work of ceramic artist Cathy Broski resonates for many reasons. Figures, houses, boats, and other forms are chosen because of their levels of meaning. Some are jubilant and playful, others introspective, while still more speak of journeys and growth. That Broski manages to evoke such intensely personal emotions from her minimalistic forms is evidence of her skill as an artist.
Of her process, Broski said:
“My surfaces reflect the love I have for found objects. I find them attractive because of the wear and the marks of their journeys. This is the feel I strive to achieve on my surfaces. To accomplish this, I use a layering technique.
Each piece begins with slabs. The pieces grow with the application of coils or additional slabs. When each piece is completed, I carve or texture the surface and let it dry. The base colors are applied and fired. Once the first firing is complete, I apply and wipe off a combination of terra sigilattas, slips, stains and glazes, then fire again. This process is repeated until I achieve the desired effect.”
Broski’s work is often filled with metaphorical meaning. Objects represent relationships, memories, or experiences. Collectors often express the powerful emotions evoked by her sculptures.
Reflection is a totem figure inspired by memorable people and events in Broski’s life. The artist created a cavity which features metaphorical objects. The ladder symbolizes the inner growth we achieve as we age. A bird as a metaphor for the inner voice that helps keep us on our path, and cups to represent the time spent with the ones we love:
The same exquisite sculpture can have very different meaning, depending on the life experiences or memories of the viewer. About Bird in Hand, customers have said:
“This was a wedding gift, along with a note about holding each other’s spirit in your hand.”
“Broski’s Bird in Hand sits on a dish on the conference room table, and is frequently utilized as a conversation starter — or referenced as the wise person’s ‘bird in the hand.'”
Every work of art has a story to tell — the story of the artist who made it. Once you invite it into your home, it becomes a part of your life — and the story continues.
As Broski herself says:
“I enjoy the story and form that grow together as each piece evolves. Creating a connection to my work for the viewer is important to me.”
This piece is part of a series celebrating Artful Home’s 30th Anniversary. Read more HERE.