We live in an era of global materialism, where environmental destruction is accepted as necessary for human development. Yet, as our cities grow, so does a cultural desire for escape to natural spaces, whether national parks or backyard gardens. As an artist, I respond by integrating animal figures with vessels, using clay as my medium to capture the essence of personal experiences in nature and bring them into the domestic realm of human life. Many finished works such as my animal boxes and censers obtain a precious quality, meant to contain personal items, or enter a home’s altar space. Each animal form is specific to its vessel and often presented in a position of honor. The animal’s gestures impart agency and personal integrity, persuading an introspective response from the viewer. Through this introspection, I hope to encourage practice of a “child’s gaze” on our surroundings, where a sense of wonder can infuse the collective human consciousness.