Ringware
Artist Statement
Nathan Ring
I am a functional potter with a particular emphasis on tea ware. While pursuing my love of form and function, I simultaneously explore traditional Japanese glazes, with a focus on Oribe and Shino. My craft is inspired by outdoor hobbies, utility of objects, a deep appreciation for the power of Japanese tea ware and the rich history that pottery provides. I have investigated many other art mediums and techniques such as leather work, wooden tobacco pipe carving, and found object sculptures but I've always gravitated back to clay. Although I love glaze ware my favorite way to fire work is with atmospheric firings such as wood or salt/soda. Atmospheric firing has a stunning effect on clay and I want to continue investigating the possibilities of wood and soda firings in my work.
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 subject matter such as fishing scenes on my mugs or on a tea bowl. This helps me decorate my work in ways that interest me and create a formal juxtaposition between nature's curiosities and sober expression. The potential for contemporary pottery to function as a craft and a fine art is important to my practice.
I have explored various types of building techniques but I always come back to the potter's wheel. Often, I use a heat gun or blow torch while a pot is still on the wheel to hasten the drying process. This allows me to manipulate the piece while still on the wheel head. I try not to disguise the marks my fingers make in the clay as they are a lasting testament of my time on this planet. Although I am heavily influenced by Japanese pottery I try to keep a balance between the very loose aesthetics of Wabi-Sabi and straightforward functionality in my ware. A Pot should never tip over, the lid should fit perfectly and the spout should pour proficiently.