Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Document Type



College of Visual and Performing Arts

Degree Program

Fine Arts

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Thesis Advisor

Stephanie Sutton, M.F.A.

Committee Member

Shaun Cassidy, M.V.A.

Committee Member

Claudia O'Steen, M.F.A.


Memory, Slipcasting, Metaphor, Material, Absence, Presence, Continuing Bonds, Conestee Nature Preserve, Piedmont South Carolina, Clay, Ceramics, Family, Heritage, Landscape, Birds, Channels, Erosion, Excavation


This thesis is an exploration of memory’s fluctuating aspects, utilizing natural materials and casting processes to create a sculptural body of work deeply rooted in materialized metaphor. Examining the relationship between mold and cast, part and whole, and interior and exterior, I utilize casting as a framework to understand the duality of remembering and forgetting. Memories, much like the natural landscape, are ephemeral, fading, and fracturing over time. Both external environments and internal mental landscapes share the common language of erosion, existing as present or absent, remembered or forgotten. Conestee Nature Preserve in Mauldin, South Carolina, serves as my “site” for memory, containing wetlands and hardwood forests, symbolic of branches found in my family tree. When hiking in Conestee, I pay attention to the fallen branches, leaves and lichen, the shifting water channels and driftwood, documenting and collecting fragments created from the impact of weather patterns on the landscape. I examine these visual qualities and consider the history they tell, utilizing them as memory data. Through processes like slip casting, printing, and mold making, I replicate the object again and again, asking viewers to consider how the presentation of these artifacts showcases the unavoidable change that occurs in the natural world and the human mind, acting as a study of remembering and forgetting.