Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2017
Peter Beasecker was born in Toledo, Ohio and received a BS degree from Miami University and his MFA from Alfred University. He is a Professor of Art teaching ceramics and graduate studies at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Beasecker has received numerous awards and distinctions in his career, most recently being named a NYFA Fellow for 2015. He has exhibited extensively in national and international venues, and his work is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Mint Museum in North Carolina. Beasecker has been a visiting artist and workshop leader at over sixty institutions, including Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Penland School of Crafts. He has been the co-coordinator of the Utilitarian Clay Symposium at Arrowmont since 1996. He currently maintains a studio in Cazenovia, New York.
The stoneware “carriers” and porcelain “tablets” are objects representing an ongoing dialogue I have had with a few simple ideas revolving around order/symmetry, containment/community, and history/weight.
As society puts an increased premium on speed and efficiency, I feel more compelled to offer a slow and sometimes awkward experience, both in the reading and real use of a pot. Perhaps this is a common and dated response for anyone involved with the production of a handmade object and the inherent inefficiencies involved with the various processes (at least mine). Because of the gravitational pull toward “fast”, I find myself drawn to making the “slow’ object.” This thinking is not rooted in a disinterest or distrust of technology, rather it is a straightforward way for me to extend a conversation with a user/viewer, potentially providing a platform for a meaningful encounter.
For several years now I have been involved with a relatively simple object reflecting a simple idea: that is, to make a container that allows for the transport of several cups (or sometimes bowls or cordials). To “carry” is my effort to construct an experience that brings a pot close to one’s center, while encouraging an awareness of weight, proportion, and scale. The number of cups implies community; the act of carrying is a gesture of giving. It is my desire that the awkwardness of lifting a cup as it “scrapes” a wall will provide a subtle catalyst for seeing and feeling a new relationship with something as familiar and ordinary as a cup, as well as to serve as a bond for those gathered. The absence of cups intimates presence, and I enjoy that inferred reference.