Alex Matisse

I grew up in a converted white clapboard church in the center of a small New England town to a family of artists and anthropologists.   One side nurtured artistic creation, while the other explored, among other things, the function of art in society.  My interest in clay is an intersection of these two sides, art and its function, both holy and humble.

For three years, I apprenticed in the workshops of North Carolina potters Matt Jones and Mark Hewitt.  Their work combines traditions, from the Anglo-Oriental school of Leach, Hamada, and Cardew to the folk pottery of the south-eastern United States and many places between.   In their workshops I learned to love these simple pots; adorned or bare, quiet and strong, they make their place comfortably at the table or hearth and speak to the thousands of years of pots before them.

My work is made in a fusion of pre-industrial country traditions in both process and material. It is fired in a large wood burning kiln and made of as many local materials as the chemistry will allow, while still affording me the physical attributes necessary for my aesthetic decisions.

I believe in the beautiful object; that there are inescapable aesthetic truths, physical attributes, that remove time and place from the defining characteristics of the made object.  These objects can be viewed today or many years from now and be understood as beautiful.  Though their quotidian value may become antiquated, their aesthetics will save them.  I believe in making pots that carry this truth while, as Henry Glassie told me in passing one day, holding one hand to the past with the other outstretched to the future.


Visit Alex’s Blog: East Fork Pottery

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2 Responses to “Alex Matisse”

  1. Judy Morris April 21, 2011 at 1:55 AM #

    Hope to visit you in Marshall some time in future when I am up in Boone area. Please put me on mailing list. Your work looks great.

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