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The Last Drop: Intoxicating Pottery, Past & Present (December 9, 2017 – April 7, 2018)

'The Last Drop," Sketched by Thomas Rowlandson, Published by John Harwood, Jan 1st, 1829, London. ©Trustees of the British Museum

‘The Last Drop,” Sketched by Thomas Rowlandson, Published by John Harwood, Jan 1st, 1829, London. ©Trustees of the British Museum


Please join us at the North Carolina Pottery Center for the opening reception of THE LAST DROP: INTOXICATING POTTERY, PAST & PRESENT Project.
December 9, 2017, 4:00-7:30 pm
4:00 PM: Presentation by Rob Hunter, editor of Ceramics in America
5:30-7:30 PM: Opening Reception
The opening reception is free and open to the public. The center is located at 233 East Avenue, Seagrove, NC 27341.
Exhibition Dates: December 9, 2017 – April 7, 2018
For thousands of years, potters have fashioned clay vessels for the ritual consumption of fermented and distilled beverages. These vessels not only reflect the technological and stylistic concerns of their time and place, but also a wide variety of cultural celebrations as well as proscriptions related to the making, distribution, ceremonial usage, and consumption of alcoholic drinks.
We’ve invited fifteen leading contemporary potters, from North Carolina and around the United States, to create new ceramic work that will be inspired by specific English (with the exception of one German piece) drinking vessels from the 17th or 18th century. We are not seeking a reproduction or a facsimile necessarily, but an interpretive or conceptually based object that reflects upon historic materials, designs, and processes interpreted through the lens of cultural commentary, societal views on alcohol consumption, and the ongoing role of fired clay in alcohol-related wares.
Our participating artists are: Kim Ellington (NC), Dan Finnegan (VA), Michael Gates (NC), Bruce Gholson & Samantha Henneke (NC), Mark Hewitt (NC), Fred Johnston & Carol Gentithes (NC), Kate Johnston (NC), Roberto Lugo (PA), Senora Lynch (NC), Ibrahim Said (NC), Akira Satake (NC), Virginia Scotchie (SC), Mark Shapiro (MA), Malcolm Mobutu Smith (IN), and Richard Zane Smith (OK).
Each of the participating potters has selected a ceramic masterwork drawn from the Chipstone Foundation’s world-renowned collection of 17th and 18th-century English pottery. We can’t wait to see how they are inspired by those early drinking vessels and what they create. It promises to be both informative and thought-provoking.
Other areas of the exhibition will focus on ceramic artist Michelle Erickson’s historical approach to recreating antique ceramics and the alcohol-related ceramics of 19th century North Carolina.
Ceramics in America 2017 will serve as the document of record for the show/project and will include brief biographies of and statements by each of the participating artists as well as a critical essay.
Robert Hunter, Editor of Ceramics in America, is serving as the curator for this exhibition, supported by an advisory panel of Mark Hewitt, David Stuempfle, Michelle Erickson, Lindsey Lambert, Jon Prown, and Sarah Carter.
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