Nathan Ring
Artist Statement
I've been working with clay in one capacity or another for almost half my life now. Over the past few years I have found myself continually drawn to utilitarian handmade objects and the potential for pottery to function as a craft and a fine art. I have investigated many other artistic media and techniques such as leather work, wooden tobacco pipe carving, and found object sculptures, but I've always gravitated back to clay.
Most of my work is gas fired, though I also participate in soda and wood firings with other local artists. The earthy and understated aesthetic of Japanese pottery has been a major influence and source of inspiration for my work. My surroundings as well as my recreational activities make their way into my work; fishing and underwater scenes are featured on many of my pots. I enjoy using decals to embellish my pots and will continue to explore the possibilities of this decorative method.
I have found that showing the process is a very important aesthetic quality in my work. One thing I have always loved about working with clay is its ability to capture a moment in time. I try not to disguise the marks my fingers make in the pot; they are a lasting testament to my time on this planet. Although I am heavily influenced by Japanese pottery I try to keep a balance between the loose aesthetics of Wabi-Sabi and straightforward functionality in my ware. A pot should never tip over, its lid should fit perfectly and its spout should pour proficiently. Along with showing my process, intentionality in design has become a larger part of my work over the last couple years. I try to make the rim to fit nicely with the lips of the drinker. When you hold the handle of one of my mugs I want it to feel natural, as if it was made for your hand.