To Have & To Hold
Honoring the Form & Function of the Handle in Pottery
October 3-17, 2019
In the Gallery: Thursday October 3, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday October 4, 2019: 5 – 8 PM
Recently, a beautiful piece of writing came to our attention, and has sparked an idea for our October show at American Folk Art. The 19th century German philosopher Georg Simmel wrote an essay titled ‘The Handle’, in which he wrote: a pottery vessel is “unlike a painting or statue, is not intended to be insulated and untouchable but is meant to fulfill a purpose-if only symbolically. For it is held in the hand and drawn into the movement of practical life. Thus the vessel stands in two worlds at one and the same time.”
American Folk Art specializes in regional pottery by potters who intend for their wares to be used, and in many cases used in many ways. The pitcher, for example, can hold tea or flowers; a robust-handled baking dish can hold keys or fruit. Pottery is not just for the table or only for special occasion use, it is a useful tool and an upgrade to daily life. The handle is your invitation to use, to add beauty to the everyday, and is an integral part of the usability of an object. Each potter finds lovely ways to add signature shape, form, or flourish that enhances the look and shows something personal about that potter.
A wide range of American Folk Art’s potters will be creating special pieces for this show, including the following artists:
Rosa and Winton Eugene are self-taught potters from South Carolina; because no one taught them the ‘proper’ way to create a handle, they experimented with the shape and form until they created a beautiful handle with a little swoop in the middle and a curlicue on the bottom. Not only are these artful additions, the balance is perfect AND it works equally comfortably for both right- and left-handed users.
Shawn Ireland is a gloriously creative North Carolina potter, and a great home cook. His pottery combines his two loves; when he is potting, he thinks of how a piece would work in real life from the oven to the table, and often a handle makes the piece easier to manage, and more fun to look at.
Caroline Cercone, a Tennessee potter, is known for creating remarkably considered restaurant ware. She recently became inspired by earthy tribal masks and began a series of textured and decorated table ware that adds a rustic element to one’s table. Subtle handles are an added element of functionality to her intricate designs.
We are excited to share our love of the ultimate joy and usefulness of regional pottery. To use a piece of art that has been so well considered will add a level of pleasure with every use.
American Folk will preview the show at WWW.AMERIFOLK.COM at 11 am on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.
The show will open in the gallery at 64 Biltmore Ave, downtown, at 10 am on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
A reception will be held in the gallery from 5 – 8 pm on Friday, October 4, 2019.