Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

Committee Chair(s)

John Neely (Committee Chair)


John Neely


Dan Murphy


Todd Hayes


Dave Smellie


Pots are like people. Gestural qualities can make pots appear to move like people. They form groups in ways that people might. Repeated forms on a pedestal can appear to be in formation like a military unit. More importantly, pots perform specific jobs or tasks in ways similar to people.

Inherently, the job someone holds or the function of a pot will have an effect on perceived importance. A funerary urn may seem to be a more important form than a coffee mug, yet both are committed to specific tasks. This can be likened to a lineman and a doctor. One may seem more respected than the other, but they both perform functions critical to modern society.

This body of work echoes social hierarchies. Juxtaposition, scale, and quantity aid in relaying messages of supposed importance. In this exhibition, I present pots that are made for daily use alongside pots whose functions and display orientation seem to take them out of the everyday realm. Not all of the works are meant to be handled the same or to perform the same task, yet they all accomplish the jobs they were designed for. A ewer pours liquid, a vase displays flowers and a lidded form provides containment.

I find satisfaction in knowing that the effort put into making a functional pot is rewarded when the pot functions well. A quiet surface paired with innate utility might be my truest aspiration, but a form imbued with capability and confidence elevates the pot even further. This is a difficult standard to be held to, and even more difficult to articulate. Nonetheless, this aspiration draws me in and holds me accountable.


Here is a link to a virtual tour of the exhibition as well.

Additional Files

IMG_1674.JPG (2073 kB)

IMG_1675.JPG (2176 kB)

IMG_1677.HEIC (1844 kB)

IMG_1678.JPG (2306 kB)

IMG_1679.JPG (2820 kB)

IMG_1681.JPG (1964 kB)

IMG_1682.JPG (2375 kB)

IMG_1683.JPG (2084 kB)

IMG_1684.JPG (2159 kB)

IMG_1685.JPG (2401 kB)

IMG_1686.JPG (2248 kB)

IMG_1688.JPG (2500 kB)

IMG_1689.JPG (2472 kB)

IMG_1690.JPG (2802 kB)

IMG_1691.JPG (2284 kB)

IMG_1692.JPG (2328 kB)

IMG_1656.JPG (2371 kB)

Included in

Ceramic Arts Commons