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Leland Sink

Brooke Herzing


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The Leland Sink is inspired by the Leland Blue Stone. This stone is rich in Northern Michigan History. "From 1870 to 1885, Leland was a smog-filled industrial town anchored by the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company. After the smelting industry failed because of large overhead costs and the lack of a good harbor in Leland, the remains of the industry, including heaps of slag, were dumped into the harbor. Slag is a byproduct of the smelting process: raw ore is heated, and the desired iron ore is separated from various natural impurities. When those impurities cool, the result is stone-like slag. Leland Blue, specifically, is the mix of blue glass with other chemicals, but this varying chemical medley can also cause the slag to appear purple, gray, or a shade of green. Today, people find this slag material on the shores of Leland’s beaches. For many locals, Leland Blue has become much more than a waste product. Leland Blue has become the industry itself. More than just a quintessentially Northern Michigan stone, Leland Blue is the foundation of a whole lifestyle that has seamlessly blended the business of selling with the love of finding and working with it." -Adrienne Roberts This sink requires a slant faucet.

12"H × 19"W × 16.5"D
Ceramic, vitreous china


I have an insatiable, visceral need to create stemming from a desire to disrupt order. Clay is a specific medium for me, offering a gentle permanence which lends as a role model. Clay is malleable yet sturdy, brittle yet strong, utilitarian yet decorative, each juxtaposition as imperative to its practicality as the next. These qualities recursively raise questions. How is utility discovered? How are complex valences of value registered through materiality? What can an art object—a human objectivation—teach us about ourselves? My focus emphasizes intersectionality to disrupt archetypes in terms of identity politics, including domesticity, women’s-work, gender, sexuality, and mental health. My work analyzes and recontextualizes subject formation by exploring complicated, emotionally laden, and sometimes contradictory landscapes of the self. These disruptions take shape through ceramics, sculptures and paintings which transform into abstract objects, anthropomorphic figures, and installations. In recent work, I have found myself subjecting pre-manufactured, porcelain sinks to the ceramic process. This process includes re-glazing and refiring these objects to manipulate them into sculptures while preserving their functionality. This blend of function and sculpture embraces everyday utility and practicality while remaining a strong representation of my sculptural practice, but also grazing the notion of design.

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