Maggie Weiss

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1.Red, 2020
Unglazed red stoneware,

plaster, wool, and paint
24 in x 23 in x 16 in


2.Blessing, 2019
Unglazed stoneware

and glass

45 in x 96 in x 72 in


3.Blessing (detail), 2019
Unglazed stoneware and glass
45 in x 96 in x 72 in
4.Emersion, 2020
Digital Photography
36 in x 24 in


5.Grateful, 2020
Glazed red stoneware

and steel nails
12 in x 17 in


6.Flock, 2020
Digital Photography
24 in x 36 in


7.Supper (under), 2020
Glazed and unglazed red

stoneware and red wine
48 in x 72 in x 36 in


8.Supper (over), 2020
Glazed and unglazed red

stoneware and red wine
48 in x 72 in x 36 in


9.Overflow, 2020
Unfired Porcelain and Red Wine
4 in x 4 in x 4 in


In the Bible Oudem is the Hebrew word for red. It’s actual meaning is “Red Clay”. This word
which means ‘Flesh’ is the root word for mankind. Red: Blood of Jesus, love of God, blood of
lamb, atonement, salvation. Wine: New birth, multiply, overflow.


As a child I remember watching the neighbor’s son and his wife baptized in the lake were I
learned to swim. While the ritual emersion was beautiful and mesmerizing, it was also peculiar.
In my naïveté, I understood baptism to be a ritual reserved solely for infants.
I was baptized catholic, and though my family attended church regularly throughout my early
childhood I never made my First Communion. As I got older and watched my younger cousins
receive communion, I couldn’t help but wonder what I was missing in the taste of consecrated
bread and wine.


Religion has always been a significant part of my extended family’s identity. For a long time, I
felt excluded and because of this my work originated from a place of resentment. As my hands
shape and mold the red clay components of my current work I explore my conflicted relationship
with spirituality, to uncover and address the feelings and uncertainties that surround identity and
my faith.


Through my evolving sculptural language of divine symbols I reference sacred architecture and
religious iconography that I recall from my childhood. I utilize this imagery to represent the
interconnectedness of family and the Catholic faith and its significance in my adult life. My
chosen iconography is derived from religious objects sourced from the creation narrative and
familiar Biblical motifs. The appropriation of these sacred images reflects my examination of
different rituals and traditions within the church that held significance to me as a child but now
serve as a point of separation.