Friday, April 12, 2013

Objective Clay...

....which could, by definition, refer only to the objects presented?  But is there more to be mined from this collaborative project?  I tend to think so...

This post comes from seeing the recent release of the web site Objective Clay (, which is the product of a group of young potters brought together through the recent Arrowmont Utilitarian Clay VI conference. Friends Peter Beasecker and Bill Griffith, the organizers of this symposium, strayed from the traditional mix of artists from previous events, those being a mix of young, mid-career and seasoned veterans, to this time around bringing a group of young emerging artists together for the symposium.  A great move on their part as it presented some young talent, fresh ideas and new energy. And, resulting from this experience being brought together as a group of young presenters, if I understand it correctly, they pledged to remain a group after the conference, and now they have presented a web site of their work.

What a great idea, and knowing several of these young artists I can attest to their devotion, skill, knowledge and passion for working in clay.  A great concept to lay the groundwork for a new generation of potters and setting a direction for new work, discourse and attitudes in contemporary clay.  The web site presents work for sale from the members of this group, with a couple of short essays by Peter and Bill. All told, it is a clean and professional site that, with time, may offer great insight in presenting ideas and work by some of the younger members of the clay world.

I think this site will only continue to grow and improve.  More work added to the site for us to see will be a good addition, and even reading thoughts from them about how and why they work in clay will be something to look forward to seeing in the future. One of the observations I particularly liked, from Peter's essay, was by Mary Barringer, when she commented on the discussion of the careful selection process of these young artists, she said "make sure they have something to say".  And I believe they do!.  But it is a beginning, and a good one at that.  I am proud of them all and look forward to seeing how they will continue contributing to the contemporary clay landscape in front of them.  

So, I recommend anyone reading this post who might have an interest in the future of contemporary clay work to look at this site (  It shows great potential.  Their new website will mature, I am sure, as I have faith in them all and love what they are trying to do together to help shape the future of our field.  And really, there are so many other young artists out their too that need to contribute to this dialogue and direction, so hopefully their voices will be heard and their work will be seen.  But what a great start here with the birth of Objective Clay!

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