Monday, June 27, 2011

Talking with pots

This is a post I’ve been long overdue writing, since it’s been on my mind quite a bit these days! This summer, I began taking a pottery class at Mudflat Studios in Somerville— a class that coincided with a trip to Seagrove, Asheville, and Penland, NC (pottery meccas). For household items, I’ve always been drawn to clean lines and shapes— the Crate and Barrel aesthetic, if you will. And while I still plan to frequent C&B for cooking utensils and linens, this year I’ve made a total 180 and come to appreciate handmade pottery more than ever before. Much like quilting, I think that these artists are often unsung, or at least undervalued, partially due to the lack of ego associated with this craft. Below is a video by a potter who’s work I saw recently at the Lacoste Gallery in Concord, MA, Warren MacKenzie. MacKenzie talks about the communication that exists between a handmade piece and the person using it, and I think this is what makes pottery (and handmade functional objects in general) so special and unlike anything mass-produced.

And, while I’m on the subject, let me also share the work of a personal favorite I visited down in Penland, whose pieces I am minorly obsessed with at the moment. His name is Shawn Ireland, and his pieces are rooted in folk tradition. Seriously wonderful artistry. Enjoy! ••••

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