By Colleen Leonardi, Photos courtesy of The Dinnerware Museum and Ceramics Monthly
“Many people are looking back to pottery as a reflection of how we’re trying to go back to our roots,” says Dr. Margaret Carney, Director of The Dinnerware Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The only museum in the world devoted to dinnerware, The Dinnerware Museum was founded by Margaret in 2012 to showcase “masterpieces of the tabletop genre created by contemporary artists, as well as notable historic dinnerware.”
The Dinnerware Museum currently features pop-up exhibitions, while it continues to fund-raise for its own dedicated bricks-and-mortar museum facility in Ann Arbor. Celebrated are unique collections of pottery from our daily lives by national and international artists. Cups, saucers and bowls for everyday use often go unacknowledged apart from their use in the kitchen, but Margaret sees beauty in the everyday.
"We’re not just interested grandma’s dishes and some contemporary work,” says Margaret. “We’re also interested in fine art that is referencing dinnerware.” Like works by Sandy Skoglund and his archival print, “The Cocktail Party,” (1992) where a mock cocktail party is covered in Cheetos (see below), or original dinnerware from 1966 by artist Roy Lichtenstein (featured above). The museum is dedicated to all things related to dining and anything that belongs on the table.
Their next show is called “a la carte: from the studio to the table” and will open in Ann Arbor in January 2017. Learn more at dinnerwaremuseum.org.
And right here in Central Ohio we have Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated magazines, owned and published by The American Ceramic Society, a non-profit association located in Westerville. “Geared toward ceramic artists, students and collectors interested in both functional and sculptural ceramics,” Ceramics Monthly is the source for makers looking to exhibit their work, learn about upcoming shows and contests and dive into the creative process of pottery.
In December Ceramics Monthly will release a special issue that looks at potters producing restaurant ware and how they collaborate with chefs.
“The chefs who work with each artist or studio discuss the collaborative process for designing pieces, as well as the special demands placed on pots used in restaurants,” says editor Jessica Knapp “The conversations reveal the ways that both potters and chefs use elements like form, pattern, color and composition in their respective work.”
Features include artists like Felt + Fat (Nathaniel Mell and Wynn Bauer) based in Philadelphia and the restaurant High Street on Market, and artist Jane Herold and Chef Jason Hua of The Dutch and Chef Bryce Shuman of The Betony in New York City.
“The creative synergy between the two fields is full of possibility for other artists to explore,” says Jessica.
Learn more and get your copy this December at ceramicartsdaily.org.