Sunny Slopes Pottery
About The Pieces
- For Every Day Use
- Microwave and Dishwasher Safe
- Peonies Included
Vases – $10
Bowls – $5
ARTIST: STEVE WILLIAMS
I was first inspired by Lanny Milbrandt, my sculpture and pottery instructor at Mayo High School, in Rochester, Minnesota. He was an exceptional potter and ceramicist who instilled in me a lifelong love of working on the wheel. Recognizing my passion, he would allow me to put in extra time on one of the pottery wheels in the school’s art studio during my scheduled study periods.
Later, after a few years of work and travel, I enrolled at Mankato State College to study environmental studies and biology. During my second year I took a ceramics course, as an elective, and soon found myself spending more and more time in the studio. The ceramics and glassblowing studios at MSU were well‐equipped, and professors Jim Tanner and Roy Strassberg quickly helped me migrate from science to fine arts. Jim was nationally known and working with organic, sculptural ceramic and glass forms, and innovative glazes and finishes that helped inform my later work as a sculptor. Close work with Roy helped me develop my sense of design and form. Sitting in his office and looking at hundreds and hundreds of images of art, ranging from ancient Chinese and Greek to contemporary work, was a foundational learning experience. Both of these men also gave me a solid grounding in the making of pottery and glazes, as well as kiln firing.
Just a few credits shy of a BFA in ceramics, I then moved to Sarasota, Florida, to study with Jack Cartlidge and Gail Mead and round out my liberal arts education with three years of study at New College of Florida. Jack created monumental pieces in copper and ferro‐concrete, and developed a number of innovative techniques — including cold deposit bronze on glass. Gail had developed a strong background in painting during her studies with Hans Hoffman, and her use of color was reminiscent of Morris and Frankenthaler. Their work encouraged me to experiment and has influenced my current use of form and color. During this time, I also worked at the Ringling Museum of Art. One benefit of the job was the amount of time I could spend just looking at the Ringling’s collection, which is one of the finest in the southeast United States. It has an excellent contemporary art collection, and was then actively collecting and exhibiting “new” art.
After earning a BA in Humanities, I began full‐time work as a museum preparator at the Ringling, and eventually worked my way up to the position of head of design — doing graphics, lighting and exhibit design. For many years I maintained a studio where I continued my explorations in wood, clay and collage. I also worked for artist John Chamberlain, learning about the integrity of materials and observing a true master engaged in the process of making art. Working in his Sarasota studio “10 Coconut” deepened my commitment to art and design. Watching John work was the best training an artist could receive.
Coming full circle, I have returned to Rochester, where I was born and raised. I have taken up the wheel again, producing functional pottery intended for everyday use. My goal is to make simple ware that exhibits clean lines and uncomplicated forms that reflect function.
FOR SALE SEPARATELY:
$5 – BOWL,
$10 – VASE
curated by Claire Hilton
June 13, 2017 3:40 am