My artistic journey began with ceramics—I spent 15 years in New York City making functional pottery. I left the East Coast for California to pursue an MFA at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where I studied with Viola Frey and Art Nelson.
I started working in cardboard in 1991 because I wanted to make large forms. I wanted to eliminate the cumbersome process of clay and the weight of large clay objects. Using Frank Gehry’s cardboard furniture for inspiration, I decided to use the same material for abstract shapes. They are large primal forms that can represent seedpods, figures, architecture, relationships, pearls. The sculptures read as metaphors for life experiences such as the balancing acts that define our lives or seeing how far one can go with something before it collapses.
Working with a palette of simple forms—cylinders and circles that symbolize life, male and female, the origin of all forms in nature—I am interested in the possibilities of making beauty from a common and mundane material. For my public art projects, I have been casting the cardboard into bronze. This enables me to explore the idea of creating something from nothing, turning straw into gold.
Ann Weber, artist