Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Christina West

Second Advisor

Mark Burleson

Third Advisor

John Decker

Fourth Advisor

Ruth Stanford


My porcelain sculptural work explores the passage from life to death in the form of boat imagery. Many cultures and belief systems have water and boat references in their mythoi surrounding the passage of the soul or spirit to the afterlife. I combine many disparate boat elements into each piece in order to allude to an archetypal form. The black and white tones refer to mourning rituals of various cultures as well as the traditional practice of scrimshaw, in which sailors once made carvings on whale bone or walrus tusks and then inked the lines. My boats are intended as metaphors for passage into the afterlife and symbols of human commonality. They hold their place in both the physical and the spiritual realms.