Members of Congress kneel for 8 minutes and 42 seconds in protest of police brutality, Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2020). Photo: Office of Congressman Colin Allred
February 1, 2024
Performative activism is done out of a desire to make oneself look better, rather than a desire to help the cause being promoted. While it is perfectly acceptable to utilize social media to amplify important causes, the problem arises when these efforts do not transcend into the real world.
An 1825 cartoon shows a Frenchman who is offered a 13th cup of tea by a hostess due to the guest not being aware of the English tea etiquette (a teaspoon shall be left in a cup indicating "no more") Source Jane Pettigrew (2001). A Social History of Tea.
January 1, 2024
It would be easier to write about ceramics if there were more jokes about ceramists. The lack of humor surrounding ceramic technologies is due to the industrialization of ceramic production and the emergence of ceramics as an academic discipline. Before that, potters used to tell more jokes.
October 1, 2023
Many of us are drawn to clay because of its capacity for creation, but it also humbles us. We can never be entirely certain. To be committed to ceramics is a commitment to the ebbs and flows in our life/studio balance, with our bodies, with our facilities, and with the tools and materials that are precious to us.
September 1, 2023
"Since the news broke about the budget crisis and the drastic measures that are now being proposed at WVU, I want to thank all of you students, alumni, friends, colleagues, and strangers who have reached out to offer support and help. You have reaffirmed that what we do matters and that art matters. Unfortunately, what is happening at WVU is not isolated, and I’m afraid it will continue as educational policies and priorities begin to shift in an era where publicly funded universities continue to receive less and less support from state legislatures." By Shoji Satake. This month's FREE article.
Conscious Dreaming – Vicky Lindo & Bill Brookes. detail: Before Sleep
September 1, 2023
Nascent for some time, Conscious Dreaming as a concept began pre-COVID-19, in 2020, when Lindo and Brookes were invited by Aberystwyth University’s School of Art to make a new body of work using the institution’s collection of prints and ceramics as their starting point. Drawn to the work of the somewhat obscure printmaker Christine Penn and the early pioneer studio potter Frances Emma Richards, Lindo and Brookes referenced the former’s darkly-surreal iconography and the latter’s serenity of form through their ceramics.
Simone Leigh, Trophallaxis, 2008-2017. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami. Copyright: © Simone Leigh. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
August 1, 2023
Trophallaxis focuses on the breast as a site of labor. In that, there is the juxtaposition of comfort and discomfort, familiar and unfamiliar: the cracking nipples and boot prints showcase bodily violence and the physical impact of breastfeeding. Fecund breasts with gold-plated areoles and nipples, constructed from terracotta, porcelain, antennae, and epoxy, suspending from the ceiling.
Ehren Tool, "393," glazed fired and shot; one for each US combat casualty the first year of the Iraq War also called the second Gulf War.
July 2, 2023
No matter what Ehren says, his cups are more than "just cups;" they are an important contribution to contemporary ceramic art.
Images courtesy of the Clay Art Center
May 1, 2023
"Henry was beloved," said Reena Kashyap, director emeritus of the Clay Art Center. "He did his best. He was more concerned about the soul of the place than collecting rent from the artists. People who were there in those days remember it as an incredible environment."
Illustrations by Atelier Pakawan. "Positive Artwork"
May 1, 2023
When we feel overwhelmed by the scope of misery or frozen by survivor's guilt from seemingly endless natural disasters that affect the world, Clay for Charity gives us a purposeful outlet. What can we do from the comfort of our homes and the sanctuary of our ceramic studios? Clay workers in my community tend not to have excess cash but have an excess of will – the will to help.
Simone Leigh, "Jug," 2014. Photo courtesy Tilton Gallery, New York.
April 1, 2023
What I learned while centering the clay and obsessing over the clay-to-water ratio in class for weeks is that clay particles are like platelets; water and earth dance around and are compressed in the process of sculpting. While the goal is cohesion, it starts as a suspension. White supremacist capitalist patriarchy, not to oversimplify it, is in suspension, as it is multiple different ideologies pulling apart rather than binding together. I learned this profound lesson from Simone Leigh’s "Jug" (2014).
Paul Wandless, "Haymens Studio," Clay Monoprint, triptych.
April 1, 2023
For those interested in building a sustainable society rooted in freedom and justice – issues that seem important to most of the potters I have known – we need to understand the threads that tie ideas together. We are at a moment in history when many disciplines must make choices, articulate a collective sense of concern, and consider the available paths toward voicing and acting on those concerns.
Ayumi Shigematsu 重松あゆみ, "Jomon Recollection"
February 1, 2023
The more I thought about this title, the more I puzzled over time's material mysteries. What does it look like for a form or an object to exist in the future? Does an object, like the lived experiences of the hands that built it, always appear relative to the past? How do I see time through an object?
Salt Cellar by Lindsay Oesterritter, in Will McComb's home.
February 1, 2023
Endless exposition could be laid down about the way a beautiful bowl or cup enhances the act of eating or drinking. Less is said of what to make of pots at rest. I propose that pots at rest are still engaged in a unique passive utility by defining and enriching how we experience our domestic space.
December 1, 2022
Whether your work is rooted in environmental concerns or not, it is everyone's responsibility to be aware of how we affect the world around us. It is time for us to connect to the Earth through art.
September 1, 2022
FREE ARTICLE! “Even though we have creative artists, media, and consumer feedback now, as a society, we never backtracked the indoctrination of White supremacy on its people. We just kept moving forward … As a speck of hope, our work aims at decolonizing an art form that should have always remained intimate and unscathed by European inadequacies.”
August 1, 2022
Defining failure is an ambiguous paradox bolstered by its relationship to success. The two – failure and success – oscillate in a dichotomy without room for an alternative. They permeate normative ceramics through studios and art institutions as gatekeepers to creating in clay.
August 1, 2022
Listening to Clay will undoubtedly form an important resource for years to come. In the Introduction, the authors describe this “listening” as an “attitude of receptivity, collaborating with rather than imposing intention on the material.”
June 1, 2022
By presenting art-goers with a dazzling array of objects, they are forced to think of themselves in their own space, and the relationships that they, as consumers, have with objects of both nominal or grandiose values.
April 1, 2022
What if value was not placed on objects but, instead, on investment in social restoration? Through discursive thinking, critical inquiry, and the functions of a cup, Hughes and Ginsburg have done just that.
The Last Supper at Bellevue Arts Museum
April 1, 2022
Green asks essential questions – both before and after their death – how do we care for fragile, shifting, and complex archives? And more so, how do we best care for the people, narratives, and ideas these archives represent?
December 1, 2021
Vessels made heavy by encrusted layers of gritted slip, balance like monoliths en pointe, defying gravity. Yet there is no question of teetering. They hold themselves, as the title implies, in perfect equilibrium.
July 1, 2021
. . . To work with a plan that is pre-set is one way of avoiding subjectivity. . . . The plan would design the work. . . . the artist would select the basic form and rules that would govern the solution of the problem.
July 1, 2021
“A work of art is a thesis. Every decision that the artist makes supports their thesis. In order to discover that thesis, it is the job of the critic to interpret the visual language used by the artist."
June 1, 2021
To point out the act of speaking with precision can appear redundant and excessive, but within the need to overemphasize there is immense intentionality.
October 1, 2020
Their ceramic objects serve as repositories of technique, mobility, potential, and function, enhancing our understanding and appreciation of situations afforded by domestic environments. Creating meaningful relationships with objects enables us to envision more sustainable worlds with fewer, but, better, things.
September 1, 2020
Haas doesn’t create traditional crockery or Asian ceramics, but he is informed by them. He isn’t making radical ephemeral sculpture, but he is informed by it. In the collide lies Haas and his evolution.
July 1, 2020
Three films by Culture Colony featuring Walter Keeler (The Making of Flailed), Adam Buick (The Making of the Intertidal Jar) and Claire Curneen (The Making of Touched).
May 18, 2020
A timely reminder for those working in traditional craft disciplines that handwork can be deeply resonant beyond the categories used to define the works it produces.
March 24, 2020
The world is facing a crisis. I don’t know what the situation will be when this gets published, but somehow the issues I raise might get lost in the shuffle. There is a reason bottom-line thinking is so highly regarded: it solves problems.
Hannah Walters, “Inkwell,” 15.75″x12″x6″, porcelain and crank clay with tin glaze
February 24, 2020
Modest in appearance, simple in its curation, but big in intention; this gallery is a gem. Long may it, and shows like Tanio/Ignite, continue.
Janet Koplos What Makes a Potter
February 24, 2020
Jack Troy reviews Janet Koplos's new text, What Makes a Potter: Functional Pottery in America Today, featuring fifty interviews with contemporary potters.
July 31, 2019
Studio Potter journal is now publishing exclusively online. Read any SP article anytime, anywhere, from any device, and save a personalized list to read later, too. Subscribe for just $5/month.