Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Katy Schimert

Second Advisor

Lesley Baker

Third Advisor

Yoko Inoue


I reach into the earth, pull out mud-encrusted objects, and recombine them to define new meanings. With every object transposed, the past breaks down; new potentials form. “New Commandments” recombines historical symbolism through an intuitive building, destroying, and merging to reimagine or re-establish meaning.

The work critiques rites of passage, masculinity, and stereotypes by deconstructing how histories, ideologies, and preconceptions form.

As a queer person raised in-between Judaism and Christianity, social preconceptions and religious expectations festered my formation. Our choice is taken away at this moment of conception. To take back autonomy, I reimagine historical, and religious symbolism and transmute them into new stories through chaotic mixing of painting, glazing, 3d printing, and hand-building. The process of scanning an object, transcribing it into a set of digital data, and then reconstructing it through digital fabrication and the ceramic process creates a divergent artifact while still referencing the original.

Clay collaborates and transcribes narratives through marks of the hand, the melting of glass, and the heat of the firing. Clay memorializes the entropic cadence of distress, struggle, and transformation during its formation. This transcription references the process by which the body, the soul, and identity are molded through inside and outside interventions. These methods act as lenses of reinterpretation, a process of building new power structures from old rubble.


View exhibition online: Jacob Sussman, New Commandments



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