David Swenson – Red Lodge Clay Center

David SwensonMoorehead, MN

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2019

As Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University, David Swenson is responsible for teaching 3-dimensional art classes including: ceramics, sculpture, design, and woodworking.  His areas of interest include Korean and Asian Ceramics, wood-fired ceramics, functional ceramics, sculpture (including wood carving and metalwork), architecture, furniture design, and woodworking. As an artist, David Swenson focuses his ideas on how forms represent different materials and how they occupy space.  Recently his work has been shown in several juried, invitational, and touring exhibits, stretching from California to Wisconsin. In Fall of 2018 he will lead a study abroad trip in South Africa concentrating on introducing students to Ceramics Art of the area.

The porcelain cup is an example of carving cast porcelain. Each piece starts from the same mold, its form altered significantly through the carving and permutative processes. I strive to carve each work in a different way than the previously carved work. Glazing is employed as a way to accentuate the carved surface.

The Hebron Clay Work is about the use of local material and the wood firing process in conjunction with the process of wheel thrown production pottery. The surface and feel comes from the expressive style of making and firing.


“Psychological portraits” is a title for a series of works representing ephemeral concepts and thoughts put into concrete form.



  1. of or relating to psychology.
  2. pertaining to the mind or to mental phenomena as the subject matter of psychology.
  3. of, pertaining to, dealing with, or affecting the mind, especially as a function of awareness, feeling, or motivation.


A detailed description of something or someone.

Psychological Portrait 1 “On My Mind” and 2 “Cover”, pose questions relating to iconography, religion and self awareness.  The pseudo iconography is in an ordered construct atop or around each subject implying contemplation. The variegated surface relates to the intangible nature of thought and idea. The static nature of the objects activates an awareness of silence in their space to heighten the viewer’s attention.