My work explores the intersection of material science and ceramic firing process. Experimentation is an important aspect of my studio practice, and focuses on manipulating common materials using uncommon firing conditions. I’m inspired by the natural phenomena that occur in mineralogy and geology. In my mind’s eye, glaciers give way to icy celadon glazes, volcanoes ooze magma as glazes cascade down curves and roll off edges, crystals grow when conditions are conducive. Daily life, too, plays an important role in what I make and why. The needs of the kitchen are for me, like many potters, a useful starting point for conceiving specific forms. I draw also from historical Asian ceramics as well as my experiences living in China and Korea. In the end, I strive to synthesize complex glazes and surfaces with objects that are as useful as they are beautiful.
Born in Southern Illinois in 1985, I was exposed to clay in much the same way that all children are – playing in the dirt, and making huge messes. Everywhere. In 1999, my family moved to Southern Indiana. The following year I experienced my first real introduction to clay in High School under the instruction of Tim and Paula Wells. I didn’t know it at the time, but my initial interest in the pottery wheel would eventually influence the course of my study, and ultimately, the trajectory of my life and career.
From 2003-2008 I attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where I majored in Studio Art and B.F.A. Ceramics under Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Tim Mather, and Christyl Boger. In 2007 I traveled extensively throughout China for 5 months, spending time at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute under the tutelage of Bob Anderson and Shoji Satake. During this time the primary focus of my work was on classical Asian ceramics, functional pottery, glaze calculation, and reduction firing.
Upon the completion of my B.F.A. in Ceramics in 2008, I took a job teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. At the time, it was my intention to decide whether or not I wanted to pursue ceramics for the rest of my life. It quickly became apparent to me that working in the studio was an integral part of my life. I was soon introduced to Choi Sun Ho, the proprietor of a ceramic studio in Guri City, South Korea. For the next two years, I taught English, traveled, made work, played in a band, and explored South Korea with an incredible network of travellers and adventurers.
When I returned to the US in 2011, I set to finding a new studio and new inspiration. I was lucky to find out about the Armory Art Center, in West Palm Beach,FL. In 2011, and again in 2012 I was awarded a Ceramic Artist in Residence. During my time at the Armory I taught ceramics to students who ranged in age from 6 to 60. While I had taught English for nearly two years in Korea, my opportunity at the Armory offered a wealth of teaching experience and incredibly valuable lessons both inside and outside of the studio. I also exhibited locally, and my residency allowed me to focus on putting together a new portfolio and applying to Graduate Schools to pursue a M.F.A. in Ceramics.
In 2013 I was awarded a Fellowship at Utah State University, in Logan, Utah. From 2013 to 2016 I continued my research at the intersection of utilitarian ceramic forms, geologic and material phenomena, experimental firing techniques, and historical ceramic traditions. In 2016 I was awarded a long-term residency at The Red Lodge Clay Center, in Red Lodge, Montana.
I’m currently living in Sitka, Alaska, which is a small fishing community located on Baranof Island in Southern Alaska. In many ways my dreams have come true. My partner and I live in a quirky old house with a huge basement that I am slowly but surely converting into a home studio with the necessities to make new work; A Kiln, a Potter’s Wheel, Clay, Tools, my trusty Rock Hammer.
4 thoughts on “About”
Howdy matt, way cool on the work you are doing. I talked to Eric from the mine yesterday and told me you were there. he used to work for Redart – resco ,, I am a potter also. Eric has been a friend for years
Eric was incredibly helpful. Were going to try and get him over to USU to fire some of that clay. Im busy working on preliminary testing on all the samples i collected on my last excursion into Utah back country! Thanks for the comment!
Thank You for Your work Matt it is a lot of inspiration brom Your blog, I’m from eu in Lower Silesian Voivodeship and we have a lot of minerals here – I;m a amatore potter and I try a different ways of making ceramics. I don’t have any lab but it isn’t problem, First I try to make a pure basalt glase near old vulcanic Ślęża Mountain – gas kiln near 1260 degree – and it is very nice smooth mat black, with litlle afterglow violet of plum. Thank You for Your work one more time it is really nice inspiration. Sorry for my english
I live near a basalt lava flow and was thinking of using it for glaze and other parts of my pottery. I started digging around google and found your blog. Your work and research is inspiring and fascinating. Any tips on a ball mill?