Chris PickettPocatello, Idaho

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2024

Chris Pickett received his BFA from the University of Tennessee and his MFA from the University of Florida. Chris served as a long term Resident Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation from 2012 to 2014, and was the Barbara Rittenberg Fellow at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY from 2015-2016. Chris resides in Pocatello, Idaho, and serves as an Assistant Professor of Art at Idaho State University.


The human desire for comfort is universal. In moments of uncertainty, it insulates us from anxiety and unease.   My functional ceramic vessels cater to this hunger for physical and emotional comfort and gratification.  Using nostalgia as a point of reference, I utilize form, color and design to evoke a sense of familiarity and solace.  I choose visual language that is suggestive of the comforting nature of physical intimacy, community, personal domestic spaces and childhood experiences.

The use of low relief stencils and compound mold systems allow me to articulate vessels with a specific formal language.  With the appearance of being freshly constructed, the fullness of form allows these vessels to evoke a sense of play and ease.  Generous volumes reference childlike items, such as toys and stuffed animals, and serve as metaphors of our own bodies that allude to the comforts of physical intimacy.  Exaggerated pillow forms create a desire to physically interact with the work, and voluptuous curves awaken our preconceptions of volume and what it represents: vitality, sensuality, generosity and abundance. With these vessels I provide the user with a transformative personal experience through use, rather than to address needs of utility, necessity, or convenience.