Pottery – functional and fun

John Sellberg

Pottery – functional and fun.

The artist creates both thrown and hand built porcelain pottery. The work is finished with celadon glazes and iron accents. 

My current work explores and expands the line between function and fun. I make pieces that work well together in sets: oil and vinegar; salt and pepper; beverage sets. I look at these sets as families working together to serve a simple purpose and often incorporate a tray to display, organize, and unite the pieces. Although I strive to create work that is useful and simple I am equally vested in producing original art that boasts my individual style: fun, fluid, and functional.

Elements of nature and childhood find their way into my work both consciously and subconsciously. My sense of form and design are indirect reflections of my childhood growing up in the Midwest. By incorporating skill and style I am able to translate memories of a particular pitcher or a special butter dish into my own work with my own twists. It is my hope that my pots then become engrained in the memories of my patrons through use, whether daily or occasional.

The porcelain clay I work with offers a pure white background for my subtle blue and green celadon glazes. Accents of iron oxide and rutile are then used to set off these simple glazes. The glaze accents allow me to make each piece different, or to define a grouping. Altering and accentuating the lips, hips, and shoulders of a given piece allows it to inherit an attitude of its own. The clean glazes, earthy accents, and humanistic forms create a dichotomy that appeals to both city dwellers and rural folk.

I am influenced by the simplicity of landscape and by nature’s textures. Gnarly tree roots protruding from a forest floor influence my handles. A streak of rust on a silo or a stretch of dormant hardwoods in a field of rye inspires my design. Everything from the farm structures and landscape that surrounded me as a child, to my deeply rooted appreciation of soft butter, influence the work I make today. I strive to make honest work with lively personality that is accessible and appropriate to all peoples.

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