Elena Vanasse Torres

Through working with clay, I hope to build a relationship with place and earth itself, as well as the elements that are required– fire, wood, minerals, water, stone– to shape and make durable. I treat both my sculptural and functional work as an invitation for ritual in my everyday life.

My aims in this medium are to further a rich cultural history of working with clay, with reverence for the raw materials. This motive has brought me to harvesting clay in my home of Puerto Rico and new home of Mendocino County, CA. 

Recently, I have focused on creating vessels for tea consumption. I find great enjoyment in tea preparation and drinking. I hope that the vessels I make can become a means for everyday ritual for others. Although I am neither of Japanese descent nor practiced in the traditional art and spiritual rites of the Japanese tea ceremony, chanoyu, I find inspiration and solace in learning about this ancient tradition, and hope to promote a space and culture around tea and ceramics upon returning to the Caribbean.

Photos by Elena Vanasse Torres