Spinning Clay into Art

February 12, 2013

The teapot image is of the pieces in the 100 Teapots VI show at the Baltimore Claywork

By Crystal Vining '13

The ceramic work of Associate Art Professor Randall Carlson was featured in several art exhibits this past fall and spring. From one end of the country to the other, Carlson is submitting pieces to some of the most prestigious competitions in the northern hemisphere.

Recently, Carlson entered his pottery work in the 20th annual Strictly Functional Pottery National, one of the top ceramic competitions in the U.S. where roughly 100 pieces of functional pottery are selected and displayed in Lancaster, Pa. More than 1,600 ceramic pieces were entered in the competition and Carlson's piece "Teapot" was one of nine ceramic works that were awarded the Purchase award.

"It is always an honor to see my work receive an award. It is a dog-eat-dog business and it's a pleasure to see my work being recognized," Carlson said.

This recognition adds to Carlson's already numerous awards in other competitions and publications that have featured his pieces. In the coming year, his work will be pictured in "500 Teapots," a book featuring creative teapots designed and molded by exemplary artists.

Before submitting his work, Carlson has to create each piece anew. His pottery has its own character and style; his creative process does not follow a simple formula. Carlson's work features everything from pitchers to vases with earthen browns or sandy yellows.

In the past year, Carlson also submitted a teapot design to an exhibit at Baltimore Clayworks, a non-profit ceramic art center. The center displayed three of Carlson's teapots in 100 Teapots VI, an exhibit featuring a hundred unique takes on working with clay.

Carlson is looking forward to his next endeavor, the international show Central Times Ceramics. The show invites artists from around the world, including teachers and students on campus, to submit their ceramic pieces for an exhibit at Heuser Art Gallery. The Central Times Ceramic exhibition will be held in February 2014.

"It is very competitive," Carlson said, "and the students look forward to having their pieces in the exhibit."


Google:  buceramics.wordpress for additional images of Carlson's work.