2 min read

A Conversation with Ceramics Instructor Megan Mitchell


Your practice merges ceramic vessels with printmaking methods. From where do you draw inspiration for your printed patterns and imagery?

The images I use in my work are sourced from built and natural landscapes, interior, and exterior spaces. This includes textiles, architecture, furniture, and as of late, barns and plants. Much of the imagery comes from my immediate surroundings, or from objects and places I have seen while traveling. I am interested in the variety of ways that two-dimensional imagery conveys meaning, whether it is through pattern, symbols, or the illusion of space. I am interested in combining a sense of intimacy with the feeling of spaciousness. The imagery I choose is intended to convey one, or both, of those feelings.
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I am currently working on a large coil built piece that will be exhibited at the Plains Art Museum from March through May. It is made up of five separate units, which are each about 24" x 16" x 8". It will be displayed to look like a woven fence. The image of the woven fence, for me, represents moving back and forth between two spaces. As humans, we all do this in one form or another - indoor to outdoor, work to home, public to private. As with most of my work, I am creating surface on the piece by applying imagery in layers at various stages of the making process.

I have also been in the process of making 500 salt cellars for James Beard dinners across the country. The project is administered through Northern Clay Center with the support of US Bank. More information can be found here: https://www.northernclaycenter.org/beard-artists
How does your studio practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
Both my studio and teaching practices are fed by curiosity and passion. A central part of my studio practice involves an evolving dialogue with the materials, where ideas largely emerge through the making process. It is my goal to create the same type of immersive experience for my students.

My research on surface enters my classes in varying degrees, depending on what I'm teaching. Particularly in teaching my surface processes, students often find new and interesting ways to apply the techniques. I am continually inspired and excited by their efforts and learning process.
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I am excited for the immersive studio environment of the four-day workshop and to see what we can accomplish in that time. As well, I have never visited Door County, so I am certainly looking forward to that.
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My website is http://www.meganmitchellceramics.com/ I also have work on a number of online platforms, including http://www.curatedceramics.com/ http://www.redlodgeclaycenter.com/ and https://www.upstatemn.com/

Megan will be teaching "Patterned Surfaces: Ceramics and Printmaking" June 26-29, 2017. Learn more about her workshop here.

Topics: Faculty Ceramics

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