Didem Mert, Cincinnati, Ohio
Didem Mert makes utilitarian pots that are influenced by geometry, texture, and the design-rich environment she grew up in as the daughter of a woodworker.
Mert creates structural, architectural pots that combine slab and pinch techniques. The surface textures vary from smooth, burnished terra-sigillata coated areas to those featuring sgraffito or stamped patterns, and other areas that show the marks left behind by pinch forming the clay. Line work, cut outs, bands, arcs, and small pops of color create and highlight edges and transitions, and activate the surface with loose geometric shapes. Areas of metallic luster add a sense of unexpected seriousness to otherwise playful forms and, along with the textural variety and contrasts in color, help to move the viewer’s eye around the forms.
The dynamic shapes, rounded bottoms, welcoming colors, and sophisticatedly informal presence that Mert’s pieces convey invite interaction and use. Caddies and trays serve to both hold or corral cups and other forms as well as showcase, extend, and amplify the playful yet minimal qualities of the work.