Toni Ross: A Woman’s Way of Contemporary Minimalism

Those who know Toni Ross as an artist are aware of her attention to detail. Through this article I intend to provide a close-up view of Toni Ross’s ceramic work referred to as Strata, and provide an opportunity for us to see the work and artist in a new perspective. Strata are made of joined pieces of cut ceramic slabs which began as cast-offs from other projects. I tend to think of this technique as Ross’s way of channeling her early experience as a pastry chef. There is a frugality in her studio where nothing goes to waste. Ceramic slab remnants are reincorporated into new work the way excess rolled-out pie dough is reclaimed for the next pie shell. Discussions about clay and food seem natural enough, especially since meals, in general, are served and eaten out of pottery of one type or another. Notions of warmth and sustenance are attached to both. However, the individual sculptural pieces which comprise Ross’s Strata serve an entirely different purpose, they serve the soul.