Symmetry and chaos, ephemerality and ruthlessness, immediacy and age– these qualities of the natural world serve as guiding forces in my work’s process and aesthetic. Themes of environmental degradation, resilience, and impermanence are repeatedly evoked by my ceramic work, in which nature frequently steps beyond the role of inspiration and is brought into my studio to become a direct collaborator. My sculptural work often incorporates locally collected flora which I dip in porcelain and fire. Through this process, I deconstruct what is familiar—leaves, flowers, vines, grasses—reducing them to the roots of their forms, and then assemble them to create micro-environments which reflect their ecologies of origin. The work invites viewers to reframe their understandings of their natural environments and consider the fraught, symbiotic relationship between humanity and ecosystem. By vitrifying pieces of my surroundings, things otherwise predestined for decay at the hands of the seasons and human-induced climate change, I am reminded of the impermanence of our fragile ecosystems. In this way, the work is a celebration, and also an act of preservation– of freezing a moment in time as our landscape currently stands, granting acknowledgement to the idea that it is more or less impermanent.

Altman began working in clay in her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. In 2019, she obtained a BA in ceramics from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Her experience includes an internship with Studio Potter Journal in Easthampton, Massachusetts, an apprenticeship to Noel Bailey in Waitsfield, Vermont, a position as a technical assistant to Kenyon Hansen at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and a production potter position at Mark of the Potter in Clarkesville, Georgia. She has made work as a resident artist at Green River Pottery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Recipiente Estudio in Mexico City, and Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology in Loch Lomond, California. Molly is currently an Artist in Residence at the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colorado.