In the years before returning to school, I explored ideas of tension, patterning, boundary-setting, and suspension in hand-cut paper, hand-cut stained porcelain slabs, and functional porcelain ware. Gathering from both natural and derived patterns (coral, Art Deco design, the drapery of electrical lines), I found comfort and glee in burrowing into these patterns- like a crab nesting in the sand. This time helped me understand materials in an intimate and diligent way, and has directly propelled my work exploring tension, patterning, boundary-settling, and suspension on much larger and more meaningful scales today.