Currently running the Ceramics Department at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Matt has become well known for his work with soda fired porcelain, work that is fluid in lines and luscious in surface and glaze applications. His work lends a softened sense of the dramatic to porcelain form. As a graduate of the Kansas City Art institute and possessing his MFA from Ohio University, he and his work have quickly become recognizable entities on the forefront of the ceramic art world. Possessing a charming sense of humor and kind manner, he has become a popular workshop instructor throughout this country. His work earned him the NCECA emerging artist award in 2000 along with many juried awards and purchases into prestigious permanent collections. He has been featured in every serious ceramic art publication including Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, Art and Perception and Clay Times.
Matt was the first visiting artist at the Red Lodge Clay Center. In October 2006, he headed the construction of our first kiln, designed especially for soda firing.
Matt’s most recent well known work, soda fired drinking implements: jugs, whiskey bottles and cups, and flasks, are all implements which reflect time and friendships. They are for savoring the moments past and present, for swapping stories. He says, “They are about taking the material to the extreme, squeezing it with strength, and asking it to reveal something gentle.”
“Soda firing can create a sense of drama, a blush of color and variety of tactile surfaces, always leaving its marks on the work as it licks its way through the kiln. My jugs, flasks, and whiskey cups are tied to history as they reference the German salt ware and early American pottery. For me they are about friendships, they are sitting and sipping. My interest and awareness toward surface and kiln atmosphere constantly challenges me in my choices of form and idea, always trying to simply enhance what already exists. Vessels fulfill ideas of function, explore the possibilities of gesture and craftsmanship and ultimately tie my ideas and education to history and tradition. My pottery explores issues that go beyond simple utility and address relationships between maker, user, and object.â€