Matt Peters' Profile

About

My first adventures with the potter’s wheel began as a small child, crawling underneath the wheelhead to ride the flywheel of my mom’s old disused kickwheel. Eventually I crawled up to the throwing bench, got some clay, and have been stuck in it ever since. Growing up in Minnesota, my early sensibilities were heavily influenced by Warren MacKenzie and his students as they developed a regional cultural of clay based on simple, beautiful utilitarian wares. Following formal clay classes in high school, I pursued potting avidly during college as a release and complement to my degree in the natural sciences. I owe much to my teacher, Kevin Flicker, at the University of Minnesota, Morris, both for nurturing my abilities and interest in exploring local materials and for connecting me with Richard Bresnahan of the St. John’s Pottery, under whom I apprenticed for over a year. At the St. John’s Pottery I fell in love with the dynamic process and…

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  • Joined February 26, 2010

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Mud

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About

My first adventures with the potter’s wheel began as a small child, crawling underneath the wheelhead to ride the flywheel of my mom’s old disused kickwheel. Eventually I crawled up to the throwing bench, got some clay, and have been stuck in it ever since. Growing up in Minnesota, my early sensibilities were heavily influenced by Warren MacKenzie and his students as they developed a regional cultural of clay based on simple, beautiful utilitarian wares. Following formal clay classes in high school, I pursued potting avidly during college as a release and complement to my degree in the natural sciences. I owe much to my teacher, Kevin Flicker, at the University of Minnesota, Morris, both for nurturing my abilities and interest in exploring local materials and for connecting me with Richard Bresnahan of the St. John’s Pottery, under whom I apprenticed for over a year. At the St. John’s Pottery I fell in love with the dynamic process and excitement of wood firing, never to turn back. I also immersed myself in learning the processing and use of indigenous and waste materials to create work unique to a place and to enhance the sustainability of my own resource use. The eastern aesthetics and traditional throwing system Bresnahan brought back from Japan also strongly influence my work today. Most recently I continued my explorations of local materials through a residency at the Jorgenson Pottery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. I am currently seeking to establish a studio in my new home of Woodbury, Vermont.

ARTIST STATEMENT
Making pots and objects in clay is an extension of my exploration of the natural world - of the place that I live and work. As an ecologist, a forager, a walker in the woods, and a potter, I am always seeking insight into the hidden worlds surrounding us. Through clay, the potter’s wheel, and the kiln fire I experience, discover, and make tangible the hidden properties of the earth I use, the clay I dig. Mineralogy, geologic history, soil texture, and fire make the aesthetics of my work as much as do my own desires for form, function, and beauty. Through pots I attempt to bring these elements into our daily rituals of eating.

Whenever possible I dig and process my own raw materials, finding clay exposed in gravel pits, quarries, and stream banks. Each clay makes its unique character known through processing, throwing, firing, and experimentation, and offers ever changing aesthetic possibilities linked to the unique geologic history of its place. My glazes, when used, are ash and slip based glazes, also emphasizing locally available or waste materials. My pottery is single fired with wood, often for several days, to save energy, avoid fossil fuels, and create dynamic flame and ash marked surfaces that vary with the types of wood being burned. The materials I use and way I fire are central to the integrity of my work. My work is stoneware and porcelain, fired to ~2400°F, fully functional, and safe for food and beverages, even ovens, dishwashers, and microwaves if you choose (avoid stovetops and direct flame).

You can also find my work at
www.blinkinglightgallery.com at the Blinking Light Gallery's physical location in Plainfield, Vermont.

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