Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em

Tube socks survive the kiln.

"Clay? II" is the second group show curated by University of Washington ceramics professors Jamie Walker, Akio Takamori, and Doug Jeck, exploring more and less traditional works in clay. The standout is Sock Blocks by Benjamin Peterson. Seven chunks of white porcelain are affixed to the wall, encasing that most mundane article of clothing: the white cotton tube sock. Humorous and surprisingly sensual, these puddles of fabric within an opaque coating of white porcelain are a retake on how socks tend to look when they've been pulled off and left in small heaps. Somehow the fabric has not burned away during the firing process but remains intact, only darkening in color where its skin of porcelain is thin—burnt orange in places, blackened in others. Where the white fabric is exposed, its ribbing and loose fringe are curled into patterns reminiscent of coral. Baked into swirling, lumpen bricks, this common household item becomes almost organic, almost animal. These socks are rolled up into themselves like weevils. 

 
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