Hutchinson’s sculptural assemblages are influenced by ecosystem dynamics and environmental concerns. Although her installations do not replicate nature, they reference the nesting and colonization of insects and birds, the search for space by plants, and massed floral motifs found on antique textiles. Hutchinson uses paperclay made from up-cycled materials (used clothing, paper, burlap) and employs a variety of techniques, including hand building, slip trailing, dipping, layering, and cutting. Her individual paperclay components are placed on armatures woven mostly of natural materials, like willow, and might hang on the wall, suspend from the ceiling, or accumulate on the floor. The forms are built with both fired and non-fired clay elements. Hutchinson’s work bridges the disciplines of sculpture and ceramics and offers a fresh look at possibilities within each field.
Rebecca Hutchinson has employed paperclay as part of her ceramics practice for over 20 years. She is a professor of ceramics at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, exhibits nationally and internationally, and has received numerous residencies, commissions, and awards.