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Jocelyn Y. Howard’s Strange Ceramic Figures

Jocelyn Y. Howard, a ceramics sculptor, creates surreal figures that explore identity, gender, and other social topics. Howard immersed herself in ceramics after studying under Michael Sherrill in 2005. Since, she’s amassed a collection of strange and absorbing characters, all reflecting both the potential and otherworldliness of the material.

Jocelyn Y. Howard, a ceramics sculptor, creates surreal figures that explore identity, gender, and other social topics. Howard immersed herself in ceramics after studying under Michael Sherrill in 2005. Since, she’s amassed a collection of strange and absorbing characters, all reflecting both the potential and otherworldliness of the material.

“Sculpting the human form is an active and fierce rebellion for me,” she says, in a statement. “My work is a reaction to the shame society teaches us to have surrounding sexuality and gender identity. Each piece is a tangible stripping away and rejection of that shame. I use fragmented body parts often resembling dolls or puppets to emphasize play, discovery, and vulnerability. They also manifest, for me, the patchwork nature of the human experience.”

The artist typically lists materials including “clay, slip, underglaze, stain, glaze,” and “acrylic.” Many of the figures measure a few long, adding to the strangeness of these toy-like creations.

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