Grouping of Water Cycle Flasks
Advances in technology make for an increasingly complex world. The future builds on the past and with solutions come new problems, restarting the cycle of awareness and change. Contamination of the water supply is a daily, often hourly occurrence. These works provide a platform for conversation exploring the variety of contaminants in the earth’s water supply (specifically in the USA) and call into question the origins of these contaminants.
The Cycle Flasks meet the goals of creating an object that visualizes the water cycle and how and what contaminates can end up in it. The work is more approachable with the chemical formulas somewhat camouflaged within surface layers, it is not as confrontational. Relief printmaking techniques were incorporated to achieve desired surface design and layers of stains and glazes help create the dirty urban surfaces. This work is intended to make the viewer think of a leaky, weathered, and dirty environment. The layers of glazes and stains achieve this aesthetic. Using familiar symbols (toilets) and choosing to use the flask form, a drinking vessel encourages the viewer to consider their role and relationship within this process. The viewer is also rewarded from interacting with the piece, more information is revealed when the flask is picked up and finer surface textures and details are available on closer inspection. These flasks are sized appropriately to fit comfortably in the hand and to drink from which is important when wanting viewer interaction. The layered surfaces illustrate the lengthy amount of reading and research that went into conceiving the concept, research included: the water cycle, chemical compounds, herbicides, pesticides, over the counter drugs, environment contaminants, and many other veins of research related to the water cycle. From a maker standpoint these pieces were technically challenging, primarily because of the excessive amount of stamping and texturizing of the slabs. This makes the slabs unevenly thick and thin which can sometimes lead to cracking, and this was more of a challenge with the stoppers because they were sculpted, cut in half, hollowed out, and then reattached. The bases were also challenging because of the fragile shape and need for them to be flat and free of warp.