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Clarke describes how the creative work of making pots necessarily involves research. He has observed that visual artists have a close relationship to the raw materials with which they work. As an artist, Clarke explains that “pottery keeps me honest. Pottery is a very simple art form. It is very demanding in terms of detail, line, shape, and form. Maybe because it’s so simple and unassuming, it makes me focus on what I’m trying to communicate, rather than chasing the latest fad that’s going on.”
The important thing, suggests Clarke, is not the particular artistic genre in which one works — whether still-life painting, landscape painting, making pots, or figurative sculpture — but what the artist has to say. As he explains, “I’m interested in reaching out, as the maker of these things, to other people. The things I create are made to live their lives in people’s homes. I envision them being things people would have in their homes, the way they have their favorite radio station on, or books on their shelves that they like to pull down. I’m aware that I have the potential to contribute something to their daily life. I aspire for it to be something deeply human and compassionate and worthwhile.”