Josh Wagner


Line is the most simplistic element in art; it has often been viewed as only a two dimensional element. However, I am concerned with the articulation of line in space and how it is used to produce sculpture. Through the use of simplistic linear elements I created complex sculptures. Positive and negative space along with the way in which the sculptures inhabited my exhibition space was very important to me.

Traditionally clay is used to make very substantial pieces that are usually solid or hollow. My structures, however, are rather fragile and linear, making clay a challenging and perhaps interesting choice of material. Also, clay is from the earth, and one of the most primal mediums. For me clay represents one of humanity’s most basic connections to working with ones hands, a significance that seems to be greatly overlooked in today’s culture, but one that is greatly needed.

Through the extremely laborious process of making thousands of components that came together to create larger overall forms, I was able to connect with the physicality and the intellectual rigor of making objects, while also demonstrating the ever-growing importance of labor/craftsmanship in the work I make and the world we inhabit. Also by choosing to hand build each individual link, I hope I was able to illustrate that my thesis body of work is about extreme repletion, not replication.

The obsessive quality to the way I work also factored into the final pieces I produced, giving me some interesting insight into methods of making, especially that of building many similar, but not identical objects.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ceramic sculpture--Themes, motives; Ceramic sculpture--Technique; Line (Art)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Ceramics (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Richard Hirsch

Advisor/Committee Member

Elizabeth Kronfield

Advisor/Committee Member

Jane Shellenbarger


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at NK4235 .W34 2016


RIT – Main Campus