RESPECT :: The Work of Liam Drain


Liam Drain is both a good comrade of ours, and a ceramicist making some truly exceptional work. Of a particular interest over here is the way that he weaves the threads of two studies: pattern and form, together. The forms most often lean towards the platonic, or better said, begin with the platonic… as a group of hollow solids gathering, then climbing atop one another with a totemic zeal. In their bare state his pieces stand provocatively enough to make us want to shout, “Hooray for Form!”

… And this is where the pattern comes in. Into these forms patterns, graphics & thoughts are etched in the round, using a Laser Cutter/Engraver.1 In his hands, the common result is a mind-bender / time-stretcher quality of object. It’s also an invigorating example of one of the oldest arts being brought forward with exceptionally new technique.

You can find his work at Potter’s Field. In a recent interview2 he spoke about what that name means:

Potter’s Field is metaphorically rich: A potter’s field is a biblical term for common graves, burial places for ‘strangers,’ who in more recent history end up being the very poor, itinerant workers, prisoners, inmates of mental asylums, and so on. People so dispossessed by society that when they die their body is just an inconvenience. They’re called potter’s fields because nothing grows in clay, so it’s a good place to put unwanted bodies without wasting arable land. So for me the name touches on several things related to enclosure of common land, and the human misery that ensues from the invention of private property, which is what I think about while I work. But it’s also kind of a stupid pun. I figure eventually one of these names will stick and the decision will be made for me.

Whatever the name, Deep Respect, Liam.

Keep on pushing that torch forward.

1 Not-in-the-least-bit-unlike one of the two machines we have here at Superfab! ^
2 This one with the Portland Mercury's Marjoree Skinner, that is. ^