Michael Rutkowsky – Burnsville, NC
“I make a wide array of pottery forms that are both functional and decorative. My pots are an expression of my love for the process and medium of clay, slips, and glazes; all of which I have formulated and continue to make from the raw materials. Firing to cone 10 reduction, the outcome is never 100% predictable; leaving room for chance, which I find very exciting and rewarding. Mine is a non self-conscious approach to art using simple tools and materials; spontaneously allowing the ongoing process of the work to suggest its own variations, and encouraging a more intuitive approach to creativity.
I am inspired by standing at the wheel and pulling a form out of a lump of soft clay, shaping it as close to collapse as it will allow… then doing it again. Next, I apply wet slips on the form to provide contrast and accent the form—they are beautiful when wet and shiny, and still impressionable. When the pot is dry enough to handle again, I slip trail linear designs in a gestural motion to record repetitive but distinct patterns affected by the firmness of the pot and the slips being trailed. This is when the world feels right to me. The feeling is often repeated when handling and inspecting the pots pulled from the kiln while still warm. The firing brings its own conclusion to the process.” – Michael Rutkowsky