John Reeve (1929 – 2012) strove to capture what he called “the soul of the pot,” the charged air contained by a three-dimensional whirling orb. His pots reveal a masterful understanding of form and volume while possessing a fresh and often playful attitude. They resonate with an energy emanating from voluptuous interior spaces. Sometimes quirky, sometimes cutting edge, they reflect an unorthodox stance best described by Reeve when he said, “I'm not really interested in committing novelty upon the world, but only in making objects which have some hidden magic to them.”

Reeve's talent and charisma inspired makers from Big Creek, California, to Castle Clay in Denver, to the Kansas City Art Institute, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and England's Farnham School of Art. In 1962, he began regular visits to Minnesota where he made pots at the home of his lifelong friend Warren MacKenzie; both men were students of Bernard Leach. While in Minnesota, Reeve taught periodically at the university, and sold his work. Many pots in this exhibition come from local collections and include pieces on loan from the Weisman Museum.