Red Lodge Clay Center, Short-Term Resident 2021 – 2022
Carey Nathanson started working with clay during his high school years in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina. The bulk of his education in ceramics came in 2018 and 2019 studying wood firing as a studio assistant under John Dix in Kobe, Japan and Nick Schwartz in Comptche, California. Since his time as an assistant, Carey has completed residencies at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California, the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California and most recently at STARworks Clay Studio in Star, North Carolina. This fall/winter of 2021/22, he’s been invited for residencies in Montana at The Clay Studio of Missoula and Red Lodge Clay Center.
Clay is a challenging medium to work with because of its fragility as a material, the hurdles that come on the path to successful firings and the infinite number of avenues one can take when adding chemistry to the making process. At the same time, the antiquity of the art form and its history rooted in practicality calm my psyche when dealing with the overwhelming number of possibilities and never-ending experimentation inherent in exploring it. Taking clay from the earth and firing it with wood to create vessels that hold food and water is pragmatic, but has the power to yield such multifaceted and dramatically beautiful works of art. All of these factors make ceramic pieces uniquely special and the reward, especially in making larger and wood fired work, is amplified. I’m drawn to the struggle that comes with working in clay and the difficult task of finding peace as a maker. I love the measured grind of navigating toward more defined goals creatively and trying to achieve them technically and feel lucky to be spending my days building momentum over time in a discipline of such a complex and demanding nature.