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Artist: Ben Carter
After extensive travel in Asia and Europe my research has shifted towards establishing an aesthetic representative of my American cultural heritage. Earthenware clay is stretched into functional forms that have convex bulges to reference pillows and tufted furniture. This overfilled aesthetic is a visual metaphor for the casual graciousness of southern hospitality.
Decorative motifs like the white picket fence, a quintessential symbol of the domestic, establish a cultural context that draws from Americana. The accompanying floral patterns of Dogwood and Honeysuckle are power symbols representing growth and prosperity. These native Virginian flowers are drawn in a sgraffito style relating to the informal nature of Appalachian folk art. Verdant flowers captured in decorative form bring nature into the home satisfying a primal need to connect with our surrounding landscape.
My intent is to evoke community by providing functional pottery for small gatherings. As ceramics are employed in the service of communal eating a relaxed environment is created. This allows the participants to enjoy a form of intimacy that is often lacking in our business-oriented society. These personal times are a counterpoint to our career driven culture. The pots commemorate a bygone era when meals were at the core of communication. Well-crafted dinnerware calls the user back to the table where the heart of community beats.
Description of Plate:
Honeysuckle Plate, 2012, Yixing Stoneware fired to Cone 6, H 0.75 in. x W 6.5 in. x D 6.5 in. Thrown and decorated with porcelain slip, under glaze and glaze.
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