Micaela’s ceramic work fuses elaborate surface decoration with sensuous forms. Her hand-built stoneware brings together surface, form, colour, texture, feel and decorative pattern-work using a variety of different clays and surface decorating techniques.
Her ceramic decoration often hides a much deeper meaning. As a ‘Weltbürger’ (citizen of the world) with diverse cultural and geographical roots Micaela finds the current climate of rising nationalism in which multiculturalism is losing its positive connotations very disturbing. Her work explores cross-cultural identity through the use of patterns and decorative traditions used by different peoples (both current and historically) across the world. Her research extends beyond pottery to look at patterns used in other applied arts such as architecture and textiles. She is also interested in how visual patterns have the tendency to develop elements of symbolism and become pictograms and then writing systems.
Controlled pattern-work is purposefully applied to vague and non-representational biomorphic shapes of Micaela’s figures. Form and shape are intuitively understood and her three-dimensional and non-representative pieces appeal to a different aesthetic than the controlled pattern-work. Ambiguity of form, visual sweep and flow of lines is just as important as the tactile qualities of a piece of ceramics.
By referencing different pottery traditions, in particular historical decorating and glazing techniques, Micaela further blurs boundaries. Through combining surface pattern-work from different cultural backgrounds with recognisable decoration traditions and glazes she explores how they can complement each other.
Micaela uses ceramics to create cultural links. By tracing similarities while recognising the value of differences and diversity between different cultures, she uses her patterned biomorphic ceramic sculptures to query how communication and interaction are determined by our inherent humanity or through our cultural backgrounds.