Ernest Miller – Red Lodge Clay Center

Ernest MillerMinneapolis, Minnesota

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I am a ceramic artist working in Minneapolis, MN. My ceramics career has been mostly built through showing work in various regional and national art fairs, including the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC. A selection of my work can be found at The Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN, the Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, MN, and the Schaller Gallery in Baroda, MI. My education started with an associate’s degree from Olney Central College in Olney, IL, continuing with a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. I credit a formal education as an essential part of early personal growth as an artist. Educators and mentors played an important role in exposure to ideas, resources, and processes that continue to be utilized today. Once a week, I regularly share ceramic techniques and experience teaching pottery classes at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Wayzata, MN.

My work is a partnership between achieving utilitarian ideals and aesthetic intentions. Concepts for my work are translations of visual elements from personal interests. I’m drawn to the interaction of the built environment subdued by the natural world, for example, weathered paint, an aging barn, or a well-used farm implement. In my process using slips and glazes, I build depth, highlight edges, and create patterns, all allowing for perceptions of depth or foreground and background.

When crafting objects meant for everyday use, particularly in a kitchen or hand-held context, I prioritize functionality with balanced design. For objects that primarily remain stationary, I feel more liberated to explore the realms of artistic expression, allowing aesthetics to take precedence over function. The partnership exhibited within my work goes beyond surface textures, shapes, and the roles they play within the pieces. By extension, when individuals interact with my pottery, they engage in a unique experiential exchange between the user and the potter. In many ways, I consider the piece unfinished until it is enjoyed in someone’s home.