Vessels | Sabrina Boulay

Everyday Things

Figuring things out by making things.

I mainly create functional work and was enticed by the concept of creating pitchers for my final semester at ECU; large, versatile, and needing a lot of care to be truly functional, one would think that would have been enough to keep me satisfied. So did it? Not really. It started out strong but then the plan of pitchers devolved into the broader idea of pouring vessels, and then I started thinking about how if I was making something that pours I should have something to pour into.

Four weeks into the semester, and several leaps in logic, I had expanded on my original idea of pitchers and was creating a myriad of objects around the concept of pouring and receiving.  My professors trying desperately to put me back on the path of making pitchers or even just to understand how I had gotten to where I had.  That happens a lot. I tend to get swept away in making, always playing with new ideas.  I think by doing, each action lending into another, and the more I do the more there is to think about.

But it can be a vicious cycle, always acting and reacting with no moment to rest. I want my work to evoke energy, but I find many of my final pieces lacking.  There always just seems to be something missing. There is a Japanese concept called MA, which is the concept of pause or space.  I find that my favourite pieces are the ones where I gave myself a moment to exist with the piece, to consider it individually. There were always so many deadlines and time limits for creating work in the academic environment.  In ceramics, the process is quite lengthy, slow and meticulous, which means that there are even more deadlines and time limits when put in relation to meeting class deadlines.  As such, you could be working on a piece that you have already planned out for the next several weeks which turns you more into a part of the machine instead of an active creator. In my practice, where I rush from one concept to another, I want to open myself more to MA. Maybe now, with no more deadlines and all the time in the world, I’ll be able to find that balance. Or maybe I’ll find MA in my chaos.

Thirty spokes meet in the hub,


though the space between them is the essence of the wheel;


Pots are formed from clay, though the space inside them is the essence of the pot;


Walls with windows and doors form the house,


though the space within them is the essence of the house.

Sabrina Boulay

My name is Sabrina and I play with earth and fire. I make functional ceramics, because I think that everyone should have access to art in their everyday life. I dabble in Pit Fired Pottery because it pleases my inner pyromaniac.