Through clay vessels I explore the concept of identity as the bringing together of varied experiences into a useful story. Using the vessel as a medium I work on soft clay in two distinctly different ways. The potter’s wheel with its smooth circular movement creates pieces that are rhythmic, refined, and smooth. This method of making is contrasted with my hand-built slabs on which I exert force to create heavily textured surfaces where every action is recorded. The different parts are allowed to firm before being cut and seated one into the other. Using improvisation and intuition, I unite the two techniques to create a new composition. I make no attempt to reconcile the distinctly different surfaces when crafting the vessel allowing the surfaces to speak to their history of handling. I reclaim the stiff castoff clay to fill gaps and complete the form. By recycling materials, I am affirming the idea that you can only give from the resources you have. And finally I cloak the piece in the color black so as to reduce it to silhouette at a distance. The many details of its surface and formation only visible to the close observer. The process is complete when composition is cohesive and the many storied surfaces are unified into a vessel that can now serve a purpose.