Icons of Eco-Anxiety

Master's Thesis


An investigation of materiality in art which attempts to show ways in which materials obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with feelings of stability. To accomplish this visually, I use textured elements which emerge as impure formations and unstable substances. I intentionally generate objects that visually display the stress of transformation. I pursue processes that usually foster the durability and permanence of ceramic objects in an effort to expand and transform the possibilities of the medium for the creation of seemingly fragile, ephemeral objects. This material treatment is a departure from traditional ceramic processes and intends to question pre-conceived definitions of the ceramic object. I often view the kiln as a collaborator in the process of making where extremely high temperatures cause chemical and volatile reactions to clay and glaze surfaces. I have found great value in using ceramics and kiln processes- sometimes predictable, sometimes not- as a way of looking, knowing, and understanding the Earth’s natural transformative processes. My practice is based on the sense that materials and techniques are in and of themselves expressive, and I regard my artistic position as a medium-specific search for potential in materials’ symbolic weight. Through the combination of physical forces, cultural markers, intrapersonal conflict, and contrasting elements of beauty and the macabre, I seek to symbolize the decline of our natural environment in order to conjure thoughts about the end of nature itself.


Attribute NameValues
Author Mitchell Springer
Contributor William J. Kremer, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History and Design
Degree Name MFA
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2018-11-26

Submission Date 2018-11-26
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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