The title of these installations is inspired by the novel Shibumi, 1979, by Rodney William Whitaker, who went by a pen name Trevanian. In the novel, the main protagonist, Nicholai Hel is a highly skilled assassin and a master gardener who is steeped in the practice of shibumi, a study of Japanese aesthetics. For Hel, the continued evolution of these two seemingly disparate practices came by way of years and years of practice and patience in order to develop an intangible sense of touch and timing.
Working with what I call “live” materials such as clay, chemicals, and heat takes years and years of practice to begin to understand how to coax the clay and glazes to do what you want. After the works are completed, a further negotiation happens in figuring out how the forms will interact in space and with the viewer. The idea of shibumi resonated with me because of the nature of coming to know something through copious amounts of time, practice, and touch.