Every Pot Has a Story

At the upcoming NMPCA exhibit, Conversations In Clay, we look forward to seeing conversations showing of all kinds of clay work:  functional, decorative and sculptural.  Our NMPCA membership includes people working in all modes of ceramic expression, and the conversations should be lively!

Gloria Gilmore-House brings to our attention remarks made by Mark Hewitt in a Ceramics Monthly essay, June/July 2007 titled Functional Pride: Putting the Fun Back into Functional Pottery.  Some of his words bring to mind conversations we have about functional pottery:

“I am a maker of mugs, pitchers and plates, among other things.  I do not want to make nonfunctional pots. …My pots are expressions of my individuality; they illuminate the world; they rage against it; they fascinate me with their myriad details…We hold collective creative dreams in our hands, fighting against the forces of uniformity, providing insight, hope and reverie.  Our pots become part of people’s lives, where they accomplish more than the task at hand.”

The entire article is a rich source of functional pottery conversation.  Read the article online on Mark Hewitt’s website.

Here are some examples of conversations focusing on functional work overheard on claystudiotour.com recently,

Esther Ann Smith (Santa Fe)

Esther Smith Jar
The act of creating ranks among food, sleep, touch, and love; without it, I would fail to thrive. Thus, I make work that excites me and makes me feel truly alive.

Betsy Williams (Rinconada/Dixon)

Betsy Williams Lidded Jar
At the center of what I do is the conviction that the best pots have the capacity to communicate something essential and ineffable about the human spirit…  In my work, I aspire to a balance between subtlety and self-expression, minimalism and warmth, delicacy and usability, tradition and originality.

Theo Helmstadter (Santa Fe)

Theo Helmstadter, Tea Set
The pots I make are reduction-fired stoneware – durable, dense, darkened, designed to be picked up & used. A good pot is one you keep getting to know – one you encounter again & again for the first time.

Sandra Harrington (Questa)

Sandra Harrington Ginger Jar
I like for my work to be part of every day living. I am inspired by line, by found objects, by nature, and by creative problems originating in my imagination. I have a deep respect for pure and traditional forms…

Joey Serim (Santa Fe)

Joey Serim, Teapot
I aim to make bowls, cups, plates, teapots, pitchers, flower vessels that will lift the users’ spirits when seeing them, touching them, using them in their everyday lives. I would like my work to bring more pleasure to our daily routines and encourage us to be more mindful and present in those moments.

Deadline for entries to Conversations in Clay exhibit is July 14.  Register online at nmpotters.org.

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