Exquisite Pots II: Red-Handed
The Northern Clay Center exhibition, Exquisite Pots II: Red-Handed, is based, in part, on its predecessor, Exquisite Pots: 6 Degrees of Collaboration (2008), which explored collaborations in porcelain and derived its idea from the 1920s Surrealist game “Exquisite Corpse,” where each successive collaborator built upon the preceding work of another without fully knowing what had come before.
Reimagined, Exquisite Pots II: Red- Handed stepped outside the parameters of the first exhibition, explored collaborations in earthenware, and expressly encouraged the participants to communicate, alter, and redefine the signature forms of their peers through every stage of the making process. With nearly absolute freedom, eight artists, for a period of eight months, took part in a bisque and greenware exchange, sending their works to one another, with four artists working collaboratively in residence at Northern Clay Center. The collaborative partners who received the work altered and glazed the pots with their own processes and palette. Not simply reacting, the artists took initiative to spur, challenge, and problem solve throughout the project through constant communication with each other. With one common bond, the material, the artists were forced to reconsider what is usually a singular and solitary process of making — despite one’s influences — and concede their own vision to that of someone else.
This exhibition reflected on the pertinence of collaboration in the 21st century and on the effect of a maker imparting themselves on something not wholly their own. We assigned the artists an almost overwhelming opportunity to respond, erase, elaborate, and leave their mark on an object, developing a new relationship with it. What was the result for those of us twice removed — the casual viewers of the final pieces? Did the collaborative work speak as clearly as a singular voice? We expected the process to be challenging and the results to be more broadly contextual than a work made by just one individual, exemplary of our modern age in its blurring of boundaries, questioning of authorship, and breadth of inclusiveness.
The participants in the exhibition were: Jason Bige Burnett (Bakersville, NC), Marc Digeros (North Hills, CA), Ursula Hargens (Minneapolis, MN), Joseph Pintz (Columbia, MO), Lisa Orr (Austin, TX), Liz Quackenbush (State College, PA), Pete Scherzer (Aiea, HI) and Holly Walker (Randolph, VT).
In conjunction with the exhibition, Bige Burnett, Hargens, Pintz, and Orr were in residence at Northern Clay Center. Between July 14th and 26th, they decorated, altered, and glazed each other’s work. Their work (and their process) was documented on the Exquisite Pots blog.
Holly Walker's website: www.hollywalkerceramics.com
Jason Bige Burnett's website: www.jasonbigeburnett.com
Joseph Pintz's website: www.iconceramics.com
Lisa Orr's website: www.lisaorr.com
Liz Quackenbush's website: www.lizquackenbush.com
Marc Digeros' website: www.marcdigeros.com
Pete Scherzer's website: www.petescherzerpottery.com
Ursula Hargens' website: www.ursulahargens.com