Sexism, along with other forms of oppression, is still prevalent in our society, and in the world of clay artists. Think about all the instructors you had in ceramics programs in college. How many of them were women? And, how many female ceramists did you study? It is safe to say that women are becoming more included, but we still have a long way to go. Clay programs are fantastic when it comes to teaching the highly technical, scientific aspects of working with clay, but they need to keep moving towards diversity and inclusiveness.
Young females working primarily in clay and with feminist themes, are rare. Does this have something to do with younger female clay artists and their involvement with Fourth Wave Feminism? This particular wave focuses on technology, a strong online presence, sexuality, body- and sex-positivity, and the self as subject. The intersectional aspect of the movement is queer-based, trans-inclusive, extends its invitation to men, and deals with racism, classism, homophobia, and other prejudices. Intersectionality is underscored by artists’ choices to incorporate mixed media. The clay world is notorious for being a mono-medium field, so it’s no wonder that these niche artists often cross over to other art groups. Though many feminists have started out working with different materials, some have been drawn to clay and are producing bodies of work with the malleable material.