Megan (10 of 10).jpg

Oxbow's story

Science  |  Art  |  Storytelling

Hi there, I'm Megan MacClellan, the person behind Oxbow Ceramics. It's a pleasure to meet you.

I've spent most of my career working in streams, rivers, in the open ocean, and along coastlines as a biologist and restoration ecologist. Being near water brings me peace, curiosity, and a kind of...relatedness that's hard to put my finger on. 

In 2014, a major change in my body that made it challenging to walk at times ended that part of my career. 

Working with clay helped me get through what felt like a huge change in my identity, as well as my work and relationship with my body.

Oxbow was born after I fell in love with the clean, graceful nature of porcelain. I was driven to bring the relationship with water I'd developed as a scientist into my creative life. Now, researching and making maps of the places I've loved, and that others love with similar intimacy, keeps me connected to that world and the magic in it. 

I hope that when my work finds its way into someone's home, it brings them a similar connection.

Process

I make maps on clay with a process called water etching. I transfer images onto dry, unfired clay, paint a resist onto the areas I don't want to change, then etch out the desired image slowly and gently with a wet sponge. 

I look for maps that illustrate dynamic nature of water. How shorelines erode and fill in, how coastlines change over time. I turn to mapping tools that tell stories, like LiDAR, the USGS's collection of historical maps, or models of projected sea level rise and drought.