Credits: John Carlano


Yinka Orafidiya is a Philadelphia native and veteran member of the Work Exchange Program at The Clay Studio. Her work in clay stems from an on-going personal struggle to manage chaotic energies and distressful emotions. She was awarded a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant in 2010, which provided funding for her first solo exhibition held at The Clay Studio in 2012. Yinka enjoys making pots, using pots, sharing pots, and pursuing non-traditional studies of the ceramic process. She spends the remainder of her time writing, daydreaming, satisfying dark chocolate indulgences, and watching reruns of Murder She Wrote online.


My motivation stems from a personal struggle to manage distressful emotions and chaotic energy. Scientific law tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed…it can only be transformed from one state to another. Accordingly, making pottery has become an effective means for me to harness my disordered energy and transform it into objects of purpose, pleasure, and stability. This conversion gives a redeeming quality to an otherwise destructive internal force, and continues to be the primary impetus behind my work.

Overall I enjoy making pottery that is simple, approachable, and appealing. Regardless of apparent aesthetic value, I am uninterested in work that feels cold and/or pretentious. I truly believe that interacting with a handmade object inexplicably links you to the spirit of the artist. Conscious awareness of this connection can lend a surreal quality to touching a pot created hundreds of years ago, or thousands of miles away. But even at the unconscious level, this subtle connection has the ability to invoke sensations of warmth, clarity, sensuality, and wholeness.

In a fractured world where loneliness and isolation run rampant, I find even a momentary sense of unity to be invaluable. And for me, providing such meaningful experiences for others is the most satisfying result that I hope to achieve with my work.