Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University

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Early Colored Clay Work
Click on the thumbnails to see larger images

In 1985 while in graduate school at UMass-Amherst I started working with colored clays, and developed techniques that are central to my work.  I've always been interested in machines and industrial subjects, and began a series of large inlaid colored clay platters focusing on this imagery.  At the same time, New England Industrial Revolution mill towns like Holyoke, Greenfield, Chicopee, and Lowell inspired a series of sculptural reinterpretations of industrial masonry architecture.  The early pieces featured "window" panels with colored clay marquetry imagery of mechanical "icons" of the Industrial Revolution, including the flyball governor, water turbine, and steam boiler.  While the body of the sculpture was left unglazed or lightly glazed, the "window" received a gloss glaze, enhancing the illusion.  

Eventually, I abandoned the "window" in favor of work interpreting the precarious sculptural nature of industrial masonry ruins, as in the "Industrial Shard" series.  Some of these pieces incorporate iron pipe or wire fired with the clay, increasing the sense of deterioration and decay.  This direction ultimately led to the architectural vessels seen on the Recent Work page.

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


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