Ernest Forward – Red Lodge Clay Center

Ernest ForwardMissoula, Montana

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Former RLCC Staff Member, Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2008-09, Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2015

Ernest received his BFA in Ceramics from University of AK/Fairbanks (2008), and his MFA from Montana State University (2012). He has taught at both Montana State University (2009-2012), and the University of Mississippi as Ceramic Technician (2012-14), and Visiting Asst. Professor (2014-15). He completed two residencies (2008/2015) at the Red Lodge Clay Center (RLCC). Ernest moved back to RLCC in the role of Program & Facilities Coordinator (2015-2019). Ernest and wife, Marni, also a gifted artist, now reside in Missoula, MT enjoying the outdoors, and expanding his creative expertise in the area of hardscape design…using the great outdoors as his palette.

Ernest has studied in both the U.S. and China (Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute); shown work, lectured, and given workshops nationally and internationally.  His knowledge in the building and repairing of kilns, along with his mastery of glazes, and skills as a ceramist allow him the ability to continue exploring new techniques that are used to create unique masterpieces.

The challenges of creating and fabricating objects that are thought-provoking, desirable to touch, and interact with, has always been my inspiration. I choose to create specific ceramic objects that foster memory stimulation and the ability to question functionality of a familiar object. Both performance-based works and stand-alone objects relate to the curiosity and drive for discovery imbedded in human nature. My work strives to promote the sense of discovery by the use of narratives and hidden clues as to how the works function. The intent is to allow the viewer the opportunity to unfold the work though the sense of touch, sound and visual aesthetics.

I have always had a passion for building and fabrication. Having worked with many other materials, I choose ceramics as my primary medium. I am drawn to the many different building and firing techniques that clay has to offer. In addition, Ceramics allows me the ability to create forms, colors, and details, that mimic any surface or object.

The haptic qualities are the strongest origins of ceramics. This work is designed for those who share this same curiosity about the world.