Emerging Ceramic Artist to Watch: Clay Leonard, Bowling Green, Ohio

Server with stacked nesting plates,
18 in. (46 cm) in length, slab-built
porcelain, fired to cone 6 in
oxidation, 2009.

Stacked rotary servers, each 11 in.
(28 cm) in length, slab-built porcelain,
fired to cone 6 in oxidation, 2009.



We live in an era where indirect forms of communication have become standard. Cell phones, internet messaging and e-mail have made face-to-face conversation seem like a distant memory. Through my ceramic vessels, I investigate the important ritual of sharing a meal. My ceramic vessels embody my interest in design, including the innovation of forms during production as well the aesthetic of display.


This body of work is my contribution to reintroducing the lost art of communication around the dinner table. Although my work draws formal inspiration from mass-produced objects, I strive to reclaim the directness of human interaction with the material.


Arranging the work in groupings references the table and the object’s domesticity. Through the presentation of these forms, I also reference where the work exists prior to display or use on the table. The stacking of these forms suggests the storage of these objects and reinforces the idea of humble production.



This was excerpted from Ceramics Monthly magazine’s
“Emerging Artists 2009” feature, which appeared in the May 2009 issue.
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