Piper has been making ceramic work as Thermotrope Pottery since 2012. This term, describing a (typically botanical) responsiveness to temperature, applies not only to the ceramic process but to her background as an artist: originating in Vermont, Piper moved to the sunnier Bay Area to earn a BFA from California College of the Arts.
Here is how Piper describes what she does: Thermotrope Pottery is about precision and refuse. The base idea is that unfired, unpolluted clay can be reprocessed indefinitely. I begin my work with material recycled from the scraps of many clay bodies; I will also salvage discarded ‘new’ clays. From this reclaimed medium, my wheel-thrown forms have clean geometrical curves.
I approach glazing with the conservationist consideration. What makes Thermotrope Pottery are the found glazes, refined and manipulated to produce concentrated colours and extreme textures. There is a fastidiousness, as well as a nonsense.