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Building Materials

1000 hand-formed nails (white stoneware, unglazed  fired to cone 6), plywood, hammer

Recently, my ceramic work has found me making  multiples; I’ll be seized by a form and desire to make it  over and over again. In the summer of 2021, as I  pondered how a person establishes themselves in a new  city during a pandemic, I found myself making nails.  Hundreds and hundreds of nails. As my hands worked, I  thought about the connections we build with people as  we try to form new communities around ourselves, the  tentative offers of friendship which sometimes solidify  and sometimes break. I considered the strength and  vulnerability it takes to build new connections with  people, and to hold old connections secure. As my pile  of nails grew, I began feeling my own sense of  community in Ottawa growing. Since beginning this  project, I’ve invited people to make nails with me and  have used our creations to build a structure. It’s small  and rustic, and we broke some nails during  construction, but we are building.

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