Art Imitating Life


Five Maine potters infuse magnificence into the mundane

This month we begin a Craft of Maine series on functional art. Perhaps as a sign of the times we feel especially drawn to beautiful objects that serve double duty, bringing both function and form to our everyday. Whether it is the cup that we drink our tea from or the vase that sits on a tabletop, these pieces add color and style to our homes, and extend the spirit of the art that hangs on our walls onto our tabletops, shelves, and floors. This series will explore functional art forms in many different materials: metal, glass, linens, wood, rugs, wallpapers, and this month, pottery. For more pieces by these artists see the web-exclusive content on

waterjarfinal_cutoutGeorge Pearlman
“I constantly explore my preconceptions about beauty and function.”
Water Jar, 2008, stoneware, 27” x 19” x 19” (photography provided by artist)












Simon van der Ven
“Most often, I think of my work in simple and direct terms. How does it feel? How does it work? But if I reach for the impossible (as I believe all artists must) it is to reach toward making something that has always been.”
Carved Vase, 2009, porcelain, 8” x 5.75” (photography provided by artist)

















Marian Baker
“I see the pots I make as a bridge between art and daily life.”
Covered Casserole, 2008, porcelain, 8” x 11” x 10” (photography provided by artist)











Large-Rectangular-Platter_cutoutJody Johnstone “I loved woodfired pots from the beginning, but I was equally attracted to what I saw as the woodfiring potter’s lifestyle. Beautiful kilns and studios out in the country, the balance of indoor and outdoor work, the crackling of the fire, the camaraderie around the kiln—I wanted it all.” Large Rectangular Platter, 2008, anagama-fired stoneware, 9.5” x 18.5”
(photography provided by artist)










Sequoia Miller
“Each time I make a pot I try to endow it with its own life. This life comes from an active balance of the form’s tradition, its use, how I made it the previous time, memories of ones I’ve seen in the past, ideas I’ve had but never tried.”
Teacups, 2008, stoneware ash glaze, 4” x 3” x 3” (photography provided by artist)


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