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2014 Workshopback to past workshops

Talking Thru the Vessel
with Chris Gustin
August 11–15, 2014

Throughout history pottery has displayed countless imaginative variations using the basic elements of design. What is it that makes a pot ‘good’? Why do some pots command attention, beg to be used or hold their visual presence years after their making? Why do others get relegated to the back corners of the cupboard, quickly forgotten? Understanding design and how to creatively apply its principles can aid in answering some of these questions. This five-day workshop will focus on the underlying formal and organizational strategies that exist in all pots. Dealing with both the functional and sculptural concerns of pottery form, participants will explore the architectural nature of the vessel. Line, proportion, geometry, ratio, scale and volume all play a role in the final pot. How these relationships combine to create structure, metaphor and meaning in pottery form and decoration is the foundation for great pots. Gustin will demonstrate how he uses both the potter’s wheel and coil building techniques. Further, he will demonstrate the use of drawing as a tool for visualizing ideas, illustrating various ways of approaching one's work as well as showing the relationship between the formal elements of pottery and the human figure.

Gustin will give a public artist talk on Wednesday, August 13 at 7:30 pm in the Bray Resident Center.


Chris Gustin, Vessel #1304
Vessel #1304

Chris Gustin, Vessel #1305
Vessel #1305

Chris Gustin

Chris Gustin is a studio artist and was an Emeritus Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he retired in 1998. Gustin received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1975, and his MFA from Alfred University, New York, in 1977. Gustin lives and works in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Gustin’s work is published extensively and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Victoria and Albert Museum; the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation in Icheon, Korea; and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. With over 40 solo exhibitions, he has exhibited, lectured and taught workshops in the US, Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships and three Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowships, the most recent in 2009. Gustin is cofounder of the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine, and currently serves as Vice President on its board.