Attention please! Look again – and again! Eric Serritella’s “Sassy Birch Teapot” packs multiple surprises into one single illusory ceramic form. Realistic-looking weathered wood and bark is deceptively carved from clay with animated branches evoking human-like personality in a sculpture cleverly disguising a functional teapot. Having roused our curiosity, “Sassy Birch” leans towards us, imploringly, defiantly. What is its question?
Tattered but resilient still, “Sassy Birch” could stand as a metaphor for all trees – potent, yet often disrespected, bulwarks against climate change. In our stampede to pave cities and clear forests, with the loss of tree cover each entails, will we heed “Sassy Birch’s” question? And how will we respond?
The purity of nature and the Asian art aesthetic have always inspired me and I find clay the ideal medium for reflecting both.
Through my trompe l’oeil ceramic sculptures I challenge the viewer with both the nature of the material and the messages within. Whether wheel-thrown or hand-built, these forms are completely hand-carved and transformed to mimic weathered logs and birch trees—the angels of the forest.
I strive to show how nature maintains its splendors through tenacity and triumph of existence despite the disregard we humans show her. I appreciate how ceramic mirrors the environment’s fragility and durability—easily damaged if disrespected and yet invincible in its inherent beauty.
Each piece I create is a relationship—the story of shared discovery. The clay and I make the journey together through the tension of disagreement and the harmony of accord. The final form—the result of our conversation—has a life all its own.
I strive for the life in each creation to foster awareness and influence viewer behavior toward the environment. My hope is that at least some will acquire new appreciations and ways of seeing and thus choose to walk with softer steps.
Artist’s Website: www.ericserritella.com