Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University

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Current Work
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My work reinterprets traditional vessels originally designed for common utilitarian and industrial applications with function rather than beauty in mind.  Today, such vessels often seem beautiful, underscoring the way function informs aesthetics through the history of utilitarian ware.  

The coil-built vessels are inspired by storage jars and jugs from medieval Japanese, ancient Aegean, and Early American sources, while the slab-built work comes from common Industrial storage and pouring vessels such as gas and oil cans.  I am intrigued by the products of pre-industrial itinerant tinsmiths, who worked in flat planes and simple curves, with an occasional shallow-domed lid.  Using only the most basic portable metalworking tools, they managed complex articulated forms.  I explore similar forms in clay using soft- and stiff-slab construction methods.  

Surface treatment combines  laminated colored clay patterns, pre-textured slabs,  and plain unornamented clay, offering a rich mix of color and texture.  With the exception of the two "patchwork tsubos," all pieces are soda-fired to cone 6.   

The "oil can" storage and pouring vessels each feature a wire bail handle with a wood grip.  In most cases I use iron wire treated with vinegar to promote rust, and then sealed with furniture wax. 

If you have comments or questions about my work, please contact me.  

 

 

 

 

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Site maintained by: Vince Pitelka -  Last Updated: August 16, 2012