This thesis work focusses on an experimental approach to ceramic sculptures that uses everyday disposable materials as a basis and are incorporated with clay to sculpt abstract forms. Materials used for the sculptures were napkins, textured paper, bread, different kinds of sponges and recyclable paper plates.

The supplies that people use and take for granted, without realizing how important they are, refer symbolically to a variety of cultural traditions. Traditions create a structure that makes life easier. However, people are so used to them they forget how integrated they are in our lives and ways of thinking and reacting. These essential, yet disposable materials become a metaphor for tradition as I try to show reverence through an exploration of ceramic material, material transformation, and the discovery of organic surfaces, they manifest as sculptural objects with infinite edges.

The objective of this study is to show relationship between tradition and daily disposable supplies by using them in my sculpture. The similarities have helped me to develop a new artistic expression based on the perception of these materials. My work is an expression of my own personal perspective of the relationship between modernism and tradition. Each work represents, through abstraction, my interpretation of the traditional processes used in making Turkish rugs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ceramic sculpture--Themes, motives; Ceramic sculpture--Technique; Rugs, Oriental--Turkey

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Ceramics (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CAD)


Jane Shellenbarger

Advisor/Committee Member

Peter Pincus

Advisor/Committee Member

Luvon Sheppard


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes