As the cool autumn season begins, American Folk turns to the upcoming holiday season with anticipation, eagerly awaiting the time of year when gathering together and sharing a table is at the forefront of all our minds.
Often the vessels with which we create and serve these elaborate family meals hold a special place in our holiday traditions. From the humblest bowl that fits perfectly in your hand, to an impressive serving platter used at every family gathering, our serving ware doesn’t just hold food, but memories as well. “Because our potters are focused on creating functional wares, these pieces are hardy and intended to be used, not just visually enjoyed,” says gallery owner Julia L. Mills. “To use a piece of art that’s been so well-made and well-considered will turn even the small everyday moments into a special occasion.”
Simplicity of form and the practicality of handcrafted folk objects had always been a part of potter Caroline Cercone’s childhood home in Germany and this joyful, functional spirit still remains vibrant in her studio work today. Now based in Tennessee, Caroline had studied the Japanese Folk Crafts Movement and the folk pottery of Hamada Shoji and Bernard Leach. Though she had not yet begun any ceramics work herself, Caroline’s studies would bring her to Japan to observe the culture and crafts in person. It was there that she developed a strong desire to produce functional pottery for everyday use.
An excellent cook himself, Shawn Ireland often thinks of the perfect serving piece while setting his table, and retires to his studio to create it. His work is both sculptural and functional, with a foundation in folk tradition. Shawn combines materials from NC & GA into his hand-mixed clay bodies, creating a rustic charm and deep sense of place. His clay and glazes are composed of NC feldspar, TN ball clay, and ash from his woodstove and his kiln is fueled with natural gas and wood salvaged from a nearby furniture factory.
Winton & Rosa Eugene are the husband and wife team that create Pottery by Eugene. Though influence of other potters and artistic movements can be identified in their work, they have created a style that is unique and easily distinguishable from that of other Southern potters. Winton and Rosa’s pottery ranges from the delicately painted functional, to concept pieces dealing with various social and global issues. No matter the piece, it is created with great forethought, meticulous attention to detail, and is the product of true collaboration.
American Folk invites you share in the ultimate joy and usefulness of regional pottery with heirloom quality yet utilitarian wares from 6 of our potters. “The Harvest Table” features new pottery from Shawn Ireland, Caroline Cercone, Winton & Rosa Eugene, Kim Ellington, and Chad Brown.
Join us on:
Wednesday October 4th, as “The Harvest Table” debuts on our website at 11AM, with sales beginning at 12PM
Friday October 6th, for an evening reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages, in the gallery from 5-8PM. This event is free and open to the public.