Tag Archives: Peter Pincus

Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Bryan Hopkins
Buffalo, NY
www.hopkinspottery.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

Bryan Hopkins

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

New Work by Bryan Hopkins

 

Michael Hughes
Syracuse, NY
www.mrhstudio.com

Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes

Artwork by Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Porcelain and Stoneware Bowls by Michael Hughes

 

Bethany Krull
Buffalo, NY
www.bethanykrull.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Four Hungry Birds by Bethany Krull

 

Ashley Lyon
Hornell, NY
www.ashleylyon.com

Hornell ceramic artist Ashley Lyon

Ashley Lyon

Artwork by Hornell ceramic arist Ashley Lyon

Bent Leg by Ashley Lyon

 

Colleen McCall
Elmira, NY
www.colleenmccallceramics.com

Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Colleen McCall

Artwork by Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Golden Basin Bowl by Colleen McCall

 

Peter Pincus
Rochester, NY
www.peterpincus.com

Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Peter Pincus

Artwork by Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Vases by Peter Pincus

 

Joanna Poag
Rochester, NY
www.joannapoag.com

Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Joanna Poag

Artwork by Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Flourish by Joanna Poag

 

Jeremy Randall
Tully, NY
www.jeremyrandallceramics.com

Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Jeremy Randall

Artwork by Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Mugs by Jeremy Randall

 

Jody Selin
Buffalo, NY
www.jodyselin.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Jody Selin

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Sculpture by Jody Selin

Kala Stein
Canadice, NY
www.kalastein.com

Canadice ceramic artist Kala Stein

Kala Stein

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Kala Stein

Umbra by Kala Stein

 

Kate Symonds
Canandaigua, NY
www.coachstreetclay.com

Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Kate Symonds

Artwork by Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Teapot by Kate Symonds

 

Hannah Thompsett
Alfred, NY
www.hannahthompsett.com

Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

Hannah Thompsett

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

 New Work by Hannah Thompsett

 

Virginia Torrence
Alfred, NY
www.virginiatorrence.com

Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Virginia Torrence

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Stay tuned for more information on the Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational. Check our Facebook page or website for more updates.

Solid Gold

Thank you to everyone who made it to the Solid Gold opening reception! It was a great night viewing golden artwork. We appreciate everyone who came out to support the gallery and our artists.

Solid Gold visitors standing by a work of art by Brian O'Neill

Solid Gold visitors next to a work of art by Brian O’Neill

Solid Gold is an exhibition of shining, glimmering, and glowing works in a variety of media by invited artists who use gold leaf, gold lustre, or gold paint. This exhibit includes paintings, mixed media pieces, ceramics, and sculpture.

Gallery visitors view a series of bird paintings on gold leafed panels by Melissa Huang.

Gallery visitors view a series of bird paintings on gold leafed panels by Melissa Huang.

A series of beautiful cups with gold trim by ceramic artist Katie Carey.

A series of beautiful cups with gold trim by ceramic artist Katie Carey.

Artists include:
Katie Carey, Jeanne Raffer-Beck, Melissa Huang, Mitch Messina, Brian O’Neill, Peter Pincus, John Ruggles, Bill Wolff, and Amy Vena.

Artist Amy Vena discusses her artwork with a gallery visitor.

Artist Amy Vena discusses her artwork with a gallery visitor.

Artist John Ruggles wears gold shades in front of his mixed media gold leafed painting.

Artist John Ruggles wears gold leafed shades in front of his mixed media gold leafed painting.

Stop by before February 28, 2015 to see Solid Gold in person! To see more images of the show, check out our Solid Gold album on Flickr, or see video of the show on Vimeo.

Exhibition Dates: January 10–February 28, 2015

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Cracks in the Foundation

Last week I was visited by critic and blog writer Jason.  Sleep, In Spite of the Storm piqued Jason’s interest, so he traveled seven hours to see the show and get down to business.

Jason was able to find the all the technical flaws in my work, as if directly accessing my thoughts.  Some were obvious, though others were nearly invisible.  Jason was the first person to outwardly fixate on those sorts of details.  That fixation, which I celebrate for its clarity and honesty, prompted the following blog post.

The vase on the left leans.  Can you see it?  I do every time I look.

The vase on the left leans. Can you see it? I do every time I look.

An alternate view of the urns in the exhibition

Sorry for the re-post, but these urns also lean. I have to show them in this order, because if I flip them the lean becomes more obvious. I’ve since figured out how to avoid this problem in future works, but these will always remind me.

Makers suffer from the desire to do their best given their mental and physical potential.  Luckily, the mind and hand get better.  But in the wake of learning, there will always be concrete reminders of imperfections and failures in the objects produced.  Here-in lies the two most important questions to the longevity of an artistic career:  When is it appropriate to hold yourself accountable to your flaws?  When is it harmful to do so?

My work is usually misunderstood because of its relative visual refinement.  It is a celebration of color and composition as much as an autobiographical statement through the porcelain vessel, not a celebration of a flashy process or technique.  Having said that, I’ve developed a technique to make possible the aesthetic I’m after and that technique has its inherent limitations and flaws.  When I am alone in my studio, those flaws are the things that slowly eat away at my confidence, pride, and overall emotional stability.

White gold luster is such a pain for me.  It often drips on the raw porcelain and then takes a miracle to remove if I can.  Jason and I talked about this issue for a while

White gold luster is such a pain for me. It often drips on the raw porcelain and then takes a miracle to remove if I can. Jason and I talked about this issue for a while

Sometimes the seams between colors spread.  I assume it is a result of expansion and tension in the kiln.  It is only an eye sore, not a structural thing.  But it irritates me more than any other problem I have.  I stress about it every day.

Sometimes the seams between colors spread. I assume it is a result of expansion and tension in the kiln. It is only an eye sore, not a structural thing. But it irritates me more than any other problem I have. I stress about it every day.

And then the show happens.  All of the things that keep me up at night are not generally noticed.  I’m found enthusiastic but cautious, imagining that I had somehow escaped the public guillotine!!  The successes of the show walk out the door with the crowd and the failures remain with me.  This is unhealthy.

This post isn’t meant to stir depression.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Jason’s ability to personify my conscience gave me the ability to better define the meaning of artistic engagement.  It is not my job to be perfect.  That is the job of industry.  It is my job to engage the material as a soulful pursuit, and yes to achieve the goals I set, but not to drown in small details while missing the big picture.

All of this comes at a time when I announce my new job as Visiting Professor of Ceramics at RIT.  That appointment carries the responsibility of this type of honesty.  If you make things, I guarantee you’ve had the same feelings that are expressed above.  If you want to do this for a living, you must rise above them and enjoy what you do.  Because there is no such thing as a flawless piece of handmade work.  And if there is, would you really want to be it’s author?

Part One: Inside the Artist’s Studio: Introducing Peter Pincus
Part Two: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: How Long is a Long Time?
Part Three: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Centerpiece

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Centerpiece

If Sleep, In Spite of the Storm is an exhibition about the intimate relationship, then the two large crematory urns in the middle of the space serve as principal anchors.  This post is about their story.

Peter Pincus' upcoming exhibition, "Sleep, In Spite of the Storm"

The urns installed and photographed in the gallery before any other work was made.

Before any other work was made for this show, I carefully researched, blueprinted, scaled, fabricated, finished, and photographed them in the gallery.  Excessive, right?  Not at all!  They are vessels of spirit that, just like the hand mirror, have a reflective quality for the viewer.  Done right, they oscillate between container, painting, and figure sculpture.  What a job they have.

I intended them to be independent and dependent at the same time.  It started with the form, which took from Sevres Porcelain the idea of symmetric, tight, articulate profile, but stripped the surface of the type of glamorous opulence that defines Sevres.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with opulence!  But it would be distracting in this particular vessel.

Photograph taken from http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/13368797_pair-sevres-style-25-porcelain-cobalt-urns

Photograph taken from http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/13368797_pair-sevres-style-25-porcelain-cobalt-urns

I designed the forms and lid system and built them in five separate molds.  Having never made such a large slip-cast vessel before, I planned to fire each section separately and then glue the pieces together at the end.  I couldn’t help myself though, I had to cast one in white and see it.  My wife patiently held the sections together at 6am so I could snap an Instagram photo.

The urn in early morning white.

The urn in early morning white.

I planned to have their surfaces reference Josef Albers, whose theories on color routinely find their way into my work.  I cast one urn in white and the other in black, and composed identical gradients of vertical stripes from white to black on their bellies, leaving a gray rectangle centered on the white and black stripe of each piece.  This is a carbon copy of chapter IV from Albers’ Interaction of Color, “A color has many faces—the relativity of color.”

Not the greatest example, but you get the point.  Taken from http://joshsmilingskull.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/albers-exercises/

Not the greatest example, but you get the point. Taken from http://joshsmilingskull.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/albers-exercises/

Urns in  process.

Urns in process.

When installed, the stripes are turned opposite each other, forcing the gray rectangles to show different faces; lighter on black and darker on white.  Thus the appearance of independence. But, if you separate them the phenomenon doesn’t work. So, they become very dependent on each other to maintain their individuality.

An alternate view of the urns in the exhibition

An alternate view of the urns in the exhibition

An alternate view of the urns in the exhibition

Part One: Inside the Artist’s Studio: Introducing Peter Pincus
Part Two: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: How Long is a Long Time?
Part Four: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Cracks in the Foundation

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: How Long is a Long Time?

Among the pots and vessels featured in Sleep, In Spite of the Storm, you will find a perfume bottle standing on top of a hand mirror.  In my (very) biased opinion, these two are the most complex and compelling objects in this show.  And they better be, because I’ve been working on them for a long time.

Perfume Bottle and Hand Mirror.  2014

Perfume Bottle and Hand Mirror. 2014

It all started when I paired perfume bottles and jewelry boxes for my graduate thesis exhibition in 2011.  I thought the perfume bottle could become an abstracted figure, and the jewelry box could become a landscape, and that together they could create a seductive atmosphere.  In theory it was great, but I left that body of work feeling  underwhelmed.

Perfume Bottle and Jewelry Box from Thesis Exhibition, 2011.

Perfume Bottle and Jewelry Box from Thesis Exhibition, 2011.

For starters, the perfume bottle as an abstract figure was a forced idea, if an idea at all.  I couldn’t get far enough away from the wheel to make it transcend the pot.  And by stacking the bottle on the box, I changed the way the jewelry box worked.  It stopped being a container and turned into a pedestal.  Neither object heightened the other.  The two were not a great match.

Another Perfume Bottle and Jewelry Box from Thesis Exhibition, 2011.

Another Perfume Bottle and Jewelry Box from Thesis Exhibition, 2011.

So I spent time sketching the perfume bottle by itself as a way to gain distance from the relationship I’d forced.   I also restricted myself from actually making a perfume bottle because I knew it was important to grow in my hand and mind first to avoid retracing my steps.  I spent the time looking at dresses and figures and paintings, while I made a ton of bottles and cups – of course!

When I finally made the right sketch, the challenge was figuring out how to make the thing.  What a pain!  If you are interested in how I did it, go back to my early Instagram posts where I documented the process step by step (most steps are there).

 

Peter Pincus and his ceramics

Peter Pincus and his ceramics

The hand mirror came to mind in its own time.  It was the first thing I could think of that conceptually aligned with the perfume bottle, was found in a similar location and completely heightened the bottle while not turning into a pedestal in the process.  To boot, it was an exceptionally undervalued object.  Opportunity… check!

But here’s the catch.  Slip casting a hand mirror doesn’t work.  Believe me, I tried… and tried and tried.  It took time to realize that the hand mirror was best suited as a wheel turned object.  So I found rich, dark chocolate, dense earthenware and had at it.

Scraping a finished edge of the hand mirror before drying and firing it.

Scraping a finished edge of the hand mirror before drying and firing it.

So here they are.  Three years from when I last made a perfume bottle.  Finally.

Detail

Detail

Part One: Inside the Artist’s Studio: Introducing Peter Pincus
Part Three: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Centerpiece
Part Four: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Cracks in the Foundation

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Introducing Peter Pincus

Hello All, and welcome to my guest blog extravaganza!

Allow me to bend your ear about my upcoming show Sleep, In Spite Of The Storm.  In just a few short weeks, July 12th at 3pm to be exact, the doors at Main Street Arts will open and I invite you all to attend.  If you do make it, you’ll find an installation of brightly colored porcelain pots, vessels and containers, which are presented in this case as sculpture.  It’s an admittedly challenging exhibition for most gallery goers, hence my guest blogging for the next month, which will hopefully clarify my intentions.  It’s going to be a wild ride, so stick with me.

Two cups waiting for their pedestals at Main Street Arts

Two cups waiting for their pedestals at Main Street Arts

But before we get into all of that, let me introduce myself.  My name is Peter Pincus.  Born and raised in Rochester, NY, I now live and make ceramic art in Penfield, NY.  Yes, Rochester has claimed me, as it does so many others who love the seasons, the manageable, accessible city size, the budding artistic community, and of course, Wegmans!  I’m a proud husband, father, artist and teacher.  I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Alfred University, and I now work all around town, as the Studio Manager and Resident Artist Coordinator of the Genesee Center for Arts and Education and Adjunct Professor wherever I’m needed.  My work travels all around this great nation with regularity, however it doesn’t often land here at home.  That is why I’m investing as heavily as possible in Sleep, In Spite Of The Storm.

Peter Pincus

Now for the big question…  Do I make pottery?  No.  Well, yes and no.  I’ve focused for fifteen years on the study of pottery, but my work rests in a grey area that is closer to a painting of a pot than a pot itself.  I know what you’re thinking – that sounds like the musing of an academic.  And it is!  That’s the beauty of making, you get to present ideas through materials.  I see pottery as undervalued in my place and time, and therefore I present it to you in a different light.

The underside of a perfume bottle.

The underside of a perfume bottle.

I actively post on Instagram (@peterpincusporcelain) – check it out for pictures that will give you a glimpse into my studio process from beginning to end.

That’s all for now folks!
Part Two: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: How Long is a Long Time?
Part Three: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Centerpiece
Part Four: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Pincus: Cracks in the Foundation

A Studio Visit with Ceramic Artist, Peter Pincus

Main Street Arts did a studio visit this week with Peter Pincus, a Rochester-based ceramics artist with an upcoming solo exhibition in our main gallery space. “Sleep, In Spite of the Storm” will feature Pincus’ functional and nonfunctional geometric-patterned ceramics.

Peter Pincus and his assistants, Hannah Thompsett and Liz Tomlinson

Peter Pincus and his assistants, Liz Tomlinson (left) and Hannah Thompsett (right)

Sleep, In Spite of The Storm, celebrates the intimate relationship. On view will be porcelain pots and vessels, which are in this case presented as a collection of sculptural groupings. He says, “It’s a unique challenge to consider pottery as a premier form of abstract expression, carrying with it much more than the ability to contain and serve. This show is strongly autobiographical in nature. My goal is for these pots to be concrete reflections of my experience as a husband, father, early career artist and educator. It is uncommon ground and has made my recent months in the studio thrilling and captivating.”

Studio assistant and artist, Hannah Thompsett

Studio assistant and artist, Hannah Thompsett

Studio assistant and artist, Liz Tomlinson

Studio assistant and artist, Liz Tomlinson

Peter Pincus

Peter Pincus at work in his studio

Peter Pincus and his ceramics

Peter Pincus handling his ceramic works

Exhibition Dates: July 12–August 29, 2014

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 12, 2014 3pm-4pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 12, 2014, 4pm–7pm

Gallery Hours: TuesdayThursday, 11am–6pm and FridaySaturday, 11am–7pm.

Peter Pincus' upcoming exhibition, "Sleep, In Spite of the Storm"

Peter Pincus’ upcoming exhibition, “Sleep, In Spite of the Storm” features functional and nonfunctional ceramics with geometric patterns