Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Degree Program

Art (Creative) and Art History

Committee Chair

Hanger, Barbara

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Ovechkin, Katie

Committee Member

Cheek, Steven

Committee Member

Hale, John


Mixed media (Art)--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions; Paper, Handmade--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions; Ceramic sculpture--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions


This body of work, titled “Traces of the Hand,” consists of a series of mixed media pieces that are made up of one or more clay forms that act as vessels to contain handmade paper. Each piece is a cross section or artifact that I created through abstraction and repetition. The clay acts as a frame for preserving these artifacts. The paper is arranged in a manner which abstracts natural patterns that mimic each other: the flow of water, the grain of wood, the strata of rocks, and the swirls of fingerprints. Each individual work captures and enhances a natural pattern--like looking at it through a microscope or in an archaeological grid. I have enlarged these patterns to emphasize their inherent similarities. Within each piece, I take inspiration from patterns found in nature. The patterns of the flow of water are created by the water avoiding obstacles it approaches during its natural flow downstream. It is the undulation and waving water line that inspired Flow and Path. Tree grain patterns are created due to the varying growth patterns of the tree through the different seasons. Cross sections of wood can be seen in the pieces, Grain and Plane, which mimic cuts of wood that are commonly used for flooring and furniture. In nature, rock strata are formed from layers of sedimentary material settling in variation over time. This process of sediment transforming to stone can take tens to hundreds of thousands of years. The pieces Stalactite, Strata, and Weathered, each represent a separate element of rock strata that occur in nature. The patterns found in all of these pieces/phenomena- undulating and swirling- can even be found on the tips of our fingerprints which are formed in utero from pressures on the fingers which create the “friction ridges” that make these impressions. This rhythm and harmony in nature repeats itself right down to the tips of our fingers. This body of work seeks to point to this regularity and symmetry that occurs and makes the claim that humans through natural design are deeply entwined and connected to nature.