Bryan Hopkins

Buffalo, NY

I am interested in ideas of structure, architecture, containment, and permanence. My work takes those interests and applies them to porcelain vessels, adding to the continuum of expressive ceramic containers. Porcelain is my drug of choice. It satisfies and frustrates and I am fully addicted. My interest in porcelain is its translucence and color, and I push the clay as far as it will go, firing to a very high temperature to obtain the whitest result possible. Porcelain is associated with the upper class, and is seen as fragile and pure. My use of industrial textures and loose style of construction questions those assumptions. The surfaces and designs bring my working class roots to porcelain vessels. My urban environment, artists Gordon Matta Clark and DeChirico and Serra, Modernist architecture (earlier I.M Pei and Louis Kahn), backyard forts, model cars, 19th century European porcelain, Song Dynasty porcelain, and Modernism all inform and affect the work.
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Alexandra Geller

Easthampton, MA

My work marries my appreciation of ancient ceramics with my ongoing dedication to create pieces that are contemporary and functional. Central to my designs and throwing technique is making pieces both light in weight and satisfying to hold and use. I believe that form and function are mutually enabling. Each vessel created is to be purposeful and visually engaging. Simplicity of design and color are the sine qua non of my work, making it both modern and approachable.
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Paul Eshelman

Elizabeth, IL

My clay vessels order and dignify human life. The materiality of clay and glaze are emphasized by the lack of applied surface decoration & ornamentation. I actively utilize geometry in my slip cast forms.
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Dwo Wen Chen

Providence, RI

I was born in a little farming village in the southern part of Taiwan. I am very fortunate to have come from a family that encouraged my artistic endeavors. My greatest childhood dream was to become a bohemian painter working on the streets of Paris. It is to my greatest surprise that I now find myself to be a studio potter living in New England. To this I owe a great deal to my RISD education. Clay is a very forgiving medium. For an undisciplined artist such as myself, it suits me perfectly! I can translate almost anything within my imagination using my hands and clay. Sometimes with great success, sometimes with amusing end results! Either way, it only makes me want to explore the endless possibilities of clay-making even more.
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Teresa Chang

Philadelphia, PA

When one loves clay, food and making things, a passion for tableware is natural. Because functional craft can add depth and beauty to everyday life, I find my vocation very rewarding. I credit many influences for my design sensibilities: early Korean and Japanese pottery, my architectural studies, and an appreciation for simplicity instilled by my mother.
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Kimmy Cantrell

College Park, GA

I use a stoneware clay glazed with copper oxide, and high fire glazes to create both free standing and framed masks and other images.
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Lisa Belsky

Columbus, OH

2017 Excellence in Clay

Each piece begins as hand knit or crocheted fabric. The fabric is manipulated, shaped and then dipped into porcelain slip. During the firing process the original fabric burns away leaving behind a ceramic remnant or record of what was once there. The stitches, now preserved as clay, have become the structure and texture of the new object. A natural movement occurs during the firing process that can result in collapse, split seams, folding and slumping. I embrace and welcome these changes when they occur and view them as an important part of the work. Knitting and crocheting was passed down through generations of women in my family and has been a part of my life since childhood. The act of knitting and crocheting provides me with a strong sense of nostalgia and a connection to family. I view this body of work as a metaphor for embracing change while preserving memories.
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Bennett Bean

Blairstown, NJ

There are a number of ideas that I deal with in my work, and they are continually evolving. Presentation is one. How does one put an object into the world yet separate it from the world? My resolution of this formalist concern resulted in my use of black bases. Another concern is the idea of control, which in my case takes the form of refusing to let the fire have the last word. So, much of the embellishment of these pieces is done after the firing, i.e. the paint and the gold. And finally, beauty. There is a large amount of suffering in the world. If, when somebody sees my work they feel some pleasure that is success.
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Ingrid Bathe

Newcastle, ME

Thoughtfulness is evident in the way I handle clay and necessary when viewing or handling my work. I skillfully employ basic, traditional methods of hand building to emphasize the scope of possibility within the medium. I mix my own clay and add paper fiber to increase green strength without compromising the final piece. I adjust the clay ingredients and paper content to best suit the forms that I am working with. The methods I employ while constructing are integral to the final presentation of the work. I want the process of creation to be visible to the viewer: when two pieces of clay are joined together I leave a seam line, each pinched mark is left intact so when looked at closely my fingerprints can be seen. By making objects out of a fragile and precious material, I expect the delicate nature of the work to provoke a heightened awareness and sensitivity on the part of the viewer.
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Marvin Blackmore

Durango, CO

Marvin was bestowed with tremendous artistic talent. By 1989, pottery was Marvin’s medium of choice and also his only form of income. He was initially drawn to the pueblo-style carved pottery with gloss and matte black finishes, famously known in the Southwest as “Black-on-Black” pottery. Initially successful with the traditional Black-on-Black style, Marvin’s pursuit of his own style slowly began to evolve. In the mid 1990's he developed a two-tone technique by adding a layer of a colored clay slip and then carving exceptional detailed designs through the slip to the base color of the pot. It involved multiple firings and yet even more labor was necessary in each pot. As Marvin’s techniques evolved, more layers of color were added and the designs have become more intricate.
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