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Criticism and Aesthetics

Looking for informed criticism on contemporary ceramic art? Look no farther. Our archives contain some of the best writing on ceramic art including timely exhibition reviews and highlights, insightful topical essays and artist profiles – all with gorgeous full-color images of some of the most exciting work in ceramics. If you are passionate about clay, learn about the cultural, social and aesthetic issues directly related to studio ceramics right here. And don't forget to download your free copy of Emerging Ceramic Artists: New Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture to see work by the latest and greatest new talents in the ceramic arts field.

Conner Burns Bowls with hammer

Bowls Under the Table

Posted On October 7, 2009 9 Comments

Those pots have something wrong with them and are thus not for sale. Since there is something wrong with them, and each bear my name, it would cost a large amount of money to convince me to let them out that door. It would be much cheaper for you to wait until I made a bowl that I am happy with.

Comment: The Underdogs

Posted On September 18, 2009 7 Comments
I have a confession to make: If you’re not the “underdog,” I’m probably not rooting for you. Please don’t take it personally. Although I sincerely respect the talent, education, training, and skills associated with a variety of expertise, I typically cheer on the underdog, whomever that may be. Underdogs, let us not forget, often can… Read More »

Review: Paul Metivier

Posted On September 18, 2009 0 Comments

The dozen or so stained earthenware sculptures revolved around human heads on pedestal-posts or wall-mounted and clusters of bird beaks (some of which were raku-fired) also mounted on the wall. The results were uniformly dark, foreboding, and very promising.

Icons, 3b, 8c, 21e, approximately 4 in. (10cm) in diameter, polyamide (similar to nylon), printed on a three-dimensional prototype machine, 2007; by Peter Jansen, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

The New Factory

Posted On February 1, 2009 1 Comment

As a field, we are particularly good at time travel, but really only in one direction. We can, and should, start to look forward-further and more often than we do. Many potters define their work by how it differs from industrially made work. For example, the industrial pot is seen as flawless, boring, identical, sterile, cheap, safe and lacking a  personal connection to the user. This critical definition goes back to William Morris’ 19th-century attack on industrialization and his subsequent championing of craft.


The Art of Function and the Function of Art

Posted On December 20, 2008 3 Comments

An Australian–born potter living in Japan discusses his collaborations with chefs to create ware specifically designed for the presentation and enjoyment of food.


Longquan Celadon: A Revival

Posted On November 1, 2008 0 Comments

An exploration into the history, near extinction and resurgence of what many consider to be the pinnacle of celadon glazes.

Inheriting Legacy

Posted On November 1, 2008 0 Comments

A discussion of the cultural and historical forces surrounding the production of Pennsylvania salt-glazed ware, why and how it ceased, and what it means to the potters of today.

with The Wind in the Jug

Collecting: The Quest for Rightness

Posted On October 1, 2008 0 Comments

Looking for and recognizing the qualities in pots that make them timeless, instructive and perhaps even priceless.

House of Pots

Posted On October 1, 2008 0 Comments

A potter’s perspective on being “the hunter and the hunted” in the collecting world, and what it really means to collect pots.

2008 NCECA Regional Student Juried Exhibition

Posted On September 1, 2008 0 Comments

The annual exhibition, which takes place at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference, occupied three gallery rooms at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts this year. The jurors share their thoughts on the work and their reflections on ceramic education.