The Month in Clay: March 2009

This piece by Marten Medbo is part of his solo exhibition at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

It’s my favorite time of the month: when I get to peruse the web, go through press releases and see what is going on out there in the clay world. Once again, there is no shortage of great work and great clay events. And, once again, I am presenting a snapshot of them here. Have fun browsing through the beautiful images presented here and, if possible, get out to see the work in person.

If there is nothing in your area listed below, check out the to get the full picture.

New York, New York
New work by Sanam Emami is on view through March 14, 2009 at Jane Hartsook Gallery at Greenwich House Pottery (”My pottery focuses on the potential of function, ornament and pattern to interact and blur the line between historical conventions and contemporary life,” says Emami. “The primary sources of inspiration in my pots are derived from patterns in Iranian and Islamic art and architecture. These patterns are based on elaborate geometric interpretations of nature that when broken down and taken apart are often comprised of simple shapes such as the square, the circle and the triangle. Elements of floral motifs and architectural drawings appear alongside the Islamic patterns, and imbue the work with an imagined sense of time and place.”
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
“Oh I Didn’t Know,” a solo exhibition of works by Swedish ceramic artist Marten Medbo is on view through March 29, 2009, at the John Michael Kohler Art Center ( The works in the exhibition were created during his residency in the Arts/Industry Residency Program. The exhibition is comprised of two series of slip-cast vitreous china works. Medbo created the pieces (example at left) by sewing original stuffed toy monkeys and creatures and then making molds of them.
Leeuwarden, Netherlands
North Face, a new installation by Belgian artist Caroline Coolen, is on view through March 22, 2009 at the Ceramic Museum Princessehof ( The work is based on Coolen’s experience traveling to the North Pole. According to Ank Trumpie, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Ceramics at Ceramic Museum Princessehof, though remote, inhospitable and isolated, the polar region and the rest of the planet are in symbiosis. It has recently become a staging area for economic, political and ecological conflicts. Coolen’s installation (shown at left) reveals that the North Pole also has great cultural importance.

Download now to see more great work and hear what these up-and-coming artists have to say about their motivations, inspirations and career plans.

Columbus, Ohio
“The Infinite Teapot,” a group exhibition featuring teapots in various craft media is on view through March 29, 2009 at the Ohio Craft Museum (”The teapot is a comforting and everyday object that resonates with all of us,” notes curator Kay Koeninger, Associate Professor of Art at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. “But these contemporary artists take the teaopot as a first step-and then explore the form i different ways and in different materials. The Themes of European and American folk art, Asian pottery, trompe l’oeil, Cubism, Pop Art, fantasy, social commentary and event he Barouque, come into play as the extraordinary takes shape in the idea of the teapot.”

Sandi Pierantozzi’s teapot at left is part of “The Infinite Teapot.”

Pittsfield, Massachusetts
A solo exhibition of new work by ceramic artist Brooke Noble is on display through April 18, 2009 at Ferrin Gallery ( The show is held in conjunction with a county-wide focus of Women in the Arts. In addition to Noble’s solo show, Ferrin Gallery is presenting WOMEN: Portait + Figure, a group show of sculpture, painting, mixed media and photography. The concept of the show is to present images of women by both men and women and explore the idea of artist’s gender and the role/non-role it plays on the portrayal of women.Brooke Noble’s imagery on functional pottery and wall works typically features a winged female in close proximity to a simple house (like the tumbler to the left). She describes this as representing “the perpetual moral predicament of striving for personal independence and life experience while feeling obligated to uphold the responsibilities and expectations that surround a relationship with our ‘home.'”
Liverpool, England
“Stories and Memories” will be on display at the Bluecoat Display Centre ( March 7 – April 18, 2009. Behind so many pieces purchased over the past fifty years from the Bluecoat Display Centre, there is a story. A gift of a handmade work often commemorates a special time in the life of the recipient, perhaps for a milestone birthday, wedding, anniversary or birth. This exhibition will present works that have special meaning for the people who own them. Here, individuals tell the tales that their pieces have encapsulated for them, and the artists who created them will show current work.Work such as the piece at left by London-based ceramic artist Gabriele Koch will be on view in “Stories and Memories.”
Red Lodge, Montana
“Box,” an exhibition that explores the concept of box as object, as vessel and as metaphor, will be one view at Red Lodge Clay Center ( March 6 – 31, 2009. The show includes work by ceramic artists Peter Karner, Marty Fielding (whose work is shown at left), Mark Burelson, Karl Borgeson, Lynn Munns, Randy Johnston, Jan McKeachie-Johnston, Hayne Bayless, Jordan Van Duine, Kristen Kieffer, Warren MacKenzie, Martha Grover, Greg Jahn and Nancy Halter, as well as David Hiltner and Maggy Rozycki Hiltner. An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 6, from 5-7p.m. and the exhibition goes online: Monday, March 9 at 10a.m. Mountain Time.



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