On the interior lip of many of my vessels is a Braille encoded message. In part, these messages exist to encourage viewers to pay closer attention to the details in my work. Other reasons for these encoded Braille messages are:
1. My desire to incorporate literal meaning in my work without resorting to simple, script messaging. Braille was originally developed by the French military to transmit secret messages and is a perfect method for conveying literal meaning in a nonliteral manner.
2. To further enhance the positive perspective embodied in my work these Braille encoded messages all contribute to an underlying, life-enhancing theme.
3. The Braille encoded messages are evidence of my fascination with senses beyond sight. Tactility is an essential characteristic in both my vessels and the luminous sculptures. In the vessels, I repeatedly sand and polish the surface in order to achieve a silky smoothness. As I construct the porcelain surfaces on the luminous sculptures, I am constantly aware and sensitized to the wonderful feel of the surface as much as its visual impact.
4. My desire to acknowledge and celebrate the occasional, visually impaired ‘viewer’ of my work. The Braille encoded messages are my way of saying,”I appreciate your willingness to encounter my work and I respect the difference of your experience”.
5. I want my work to be an ongoing experience for my viewers. Whatever the initial, primary attraction may be, I want my work to continue revealing aesthetic intrigue. Many viewers initially misinterpret the Braille bumps as leaf blight. As their initial observations intensify, they begin to notice the patterning—a clue that there is more to this than their initial observations revealed. Deciphering the Braille is challenging, but manageable. As the literal messaging unfolds, it is my hope that there will be a corresponding visual investigation of the complexity of the surface pattern, the significance of the color choices and the symbolic inferences that permeate the work.
6. I am trying to encourage my viewers to empathize with, and appreciate, the experiences of ‘other-abled’ people.