Many of the challenges we are facing are not that different than those our mentors dealt with in academia. The next generation is becoming responsible for continued reshaping of the field, as they strive to uphold the standards and beliefs of our predecessors, while also trying to adapt to an ever-changing culture.
We decided our first trip to the UK would be to St. Ives and Leach Pottery. This started our love affair with British studio ceramics
If Bernard’s Leach’s A Potter’s Book was the old testament for many aspiring studio potters internationally, Daniel Rhodes’ Clay and Glazes for the Potter was the new testament for those living in North America.
Pottery often has a relationship to its environment, from the wild clay potters of North Carolina to regional aesthetics like the ubiquitous Minnesota brown pot. Like most people these days, potters are also concerned with climate change.
The illusion is that with plastic 3-D printers and how you have this tool, it can potentially fabricate anything in the world that you could possibly imagine.
When students rush into the classroom in the morning, beaming with excitement about a new technique they saw on Instagram, something good is happening. They are hooked on ceramics and fully engaged in the process.
Brightly colored columns stand throughout the industrial site of Mission Clay Building Products on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. Their presence, amidst outdoor horizontal stacks of terra cotta pipe, signals that artists are at work on eight-footextruded clay pillars.
It was maybe 10 years ago that I was talking with a book editor who asked what I was working on. I told him, but then said, impulsively, that what I wanted to do most was a book on functional pottery.
Jay Lacouture, foreground, and Harriet Brisson, background, in 1976.
Since her passing, I have continually pondered, “What would my life be like if I had not met Harriet Brisson?” What follows are some of the personal memories that come flooding back when I think about my Role Mother.
Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
It has been my pleasure to serve as the Editor of Studio Potter journal for the last five years. ... My parting request, dear readers, is that you get more people to read this journal.
Ahrong Kim. “Kimcheese,” 2017. Porcelain, stoneware, luster, stone. 7.5 x 8 x 19 in.
People read a visual artwork through many different things: a title, prominent color or patterns, etc., but they react quickly to something that’s more familiar to them.
Watkins in June 1962, location unknown.
Watkins's accomplished career, spanning four decades, included achievements in the academic, studio, curatorial, and scholarly realms. It’s a wonder that someone with this breadth of experience and success has received only modest attention in the ceramics and crafts fields.
Ray Brown. Low Pitcher, 2018. Soda-fired stoneware, flashing slip, black underglaze, glaze. 2019 NJSE Merit Award. Photo by SP.
There is satisfaction in developing the best iterations of a form, creating an aesthetic harmony among them, and making decisions that fulfill my desires for their function as utilitarian objects.
Harriet Harriet Brisson. Clouds, 1990. Stoneware clay, reduction fired to Cone 10, 7x7x7 in.
Others will praise and remember Harriet for her teaching or her studio work, but the extraordinary person she was loomed largest, for me, in her role on the Studio Potter board.
Harriet Brisson Cube Striped in Half, 1989. Raku; 6 in. sq. 46th Concorso Internazionale, della Ceramica D'Arte, Faenza, Italy. From Brisson's 50NOW retrospective exhibition catalog.
Harriet had a mathematical mind, richly reinforced by her artwork and the life she created with her husband and fellow artist, David Brisson. Her modular ceramic creations, with components that fit together effortlessly, are evidence of her keen logic.
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Timea Tihanyi mentoring student intern Wanna Huang at Slip Rabbit Studio, Seattle, Washington, 2019. Photo by Mark Stone, University of Washington.
We don’t know if and how objects will matter in the distant technological future. This poses interesting dilemmas for ceramics: How do we hold on and innovate at the same time? How do we imagine a new future of tactility with clay?
The Heinos in front of their salt kiln, Ojai, California, 1992. Photograph by Bill Dow.
Equally celebrated in New Hampshire and California, Vivika and Otto Heino's ceramics are part of a continuum that stretches back into history, and continue to inspire those who follow along the path of clay.
The Lugos - Roberto, Ashley, Theodore, and Otto, 2019. Photo courtesy of the author.
I come from a large family: fifty-seven first cousins, and each of them have children of their own. Early on, I knew that I wanted to be a father—apart from my knack for the ill-advised pun.
Santiago Isaza working in his home studio. January, 2019. Photo by author.
On a research trip to Medellín, Colombia, I met a thirty-five-year-old anthropologist and ceramist who enlightened me to the role of indigenous ceramics in contemporary culture.