My full name is Alexis Pilialohaeku’upu’uwai Higginbotham. I’m a gardener and love to watch things grow. Working with clay is a natural extension of this passion to nurture and cultivate. Digging into the earth, deep into its core, getting to the heart of things; I feel the same kinds of emotions when I put my hands in clay.
At this point in my artistic life I’m engaged by the human form and how it can mirror an inner spirit or essence in a very simple way. I’m interested in creating real and imaginary beings that symbolize or reflect a positive characteristic or quality. I am reminding myself that humaneness, grace, and goodwill still exists in us all.
I work in Cone 6 stoneware with paper or nylon added. It’s a perfect medium for me because I don’t create maquettes, make test tiles, or plan my work in advance. I value the flexibility of adding wet clay to dry if I need to change any detail, which happens quite often. I dream the original idea, but as I’m creating it, it may wish to reflect itself in a different form, so I’m constantly altering each piece. It’s much like creative writing in that if I’m smart I’ll surrender control, get out of the way, and let my characters reveal themselves.
I feel great satisfaction when my work goes well because I’m expressing something even though I don’t know what it is in words. Forming these beings comes after years of creating colorful and fanciful ceramic fish sculptures.
171 Silver Hills Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508