Seth Green Pottery
Capturing clean lines and continuous curves that produce striking silhouettes, strong negative spaces, and distinct profiles around architecture, primarily drives my creative decision making in the studio. Symbolic details used in the creation of religious and royal architecture also influence my wheel-thrown and assembled ceramic vessels. Specific forms of inspiration are Baroque and Romanesque cathedrals, palaces, and other architectural references of the Czech Republic and Islamic mosques, that are topped with domes, spires and finials that pierce the sky and reach heavenward.
Luxury or ceremonial wares, that were used in a palace to celebrate a momentous occasion or in a place of worship to enhance the sacredness of a ceremony, also influence my work. Such examples include scalloped rims and the elaborate joinery of necks, spouts, and handles of metalwork and pottery crafted during the Persian and Ottoman Empires. Rather than the specifics of rituals or ceremonies that these objects were used for, I am intrigued with the sense of importance and sacredness that my pouring, drinking, and lidded vessels convey.
The metalsmithing technique of inlaying metals, such as silver and gold into brass, is reminiscent of the silver and gold crystals that emerge through the glazed surfaces of my vessels as they cool in the kiln. Glaze applied to these ceramic forms accentuate, yet soften, their details and silhouettes. Precious metal lusters are applied to spout tips and finials to communicate the same degree of beauty and luxury as the referenced historical objects and emphasize the most important aspects of the work. Sharply detailed edges and patinaed metallic surfaces are also achieved through the use of high-iron clay slips applied to my wood-fired vessels that are cooled in a reduction atmosphere.
Ultimately, the ascendant gesture of my work is meant to elevate. It symbolizes strength in purpose and the potential for transcendence toward something higher and greater.
Seth is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW), in Fort Wayne, IN