About David Stuempfle
In 1990 I built my home and kiln in Seagrove North Carolina, a community with a long and evolving pottery heritage. In addition to the many technical problems all potters face, I began to consider other questions: Can my work be a part of my surrounding environment while also relating to pottery in other parts of our shrinking world? Is it possible to make traditional pottery based on innovation and integrity instead of reproduction and romance? Can I learn to make things that reflect my other interests in nature, music, travel, and books? Balancing these concerns, I’ve tried to make pottery that is unique to myself and communicates with others.
While materials and process are equally important, my natural emphasis has been form. I’ve tried to use my past experiences as a repetition potter constructively by making individual pieces in related series. I keep an open mind to accommodate changing ideas. Some days I am searching for a new gesture, other times I am trying to distill a shape down to what is absolutely necessary. Although good ideas, materials, and techniques are essential, for me, judgment is left for the finished work alone. Studying history has taught me an appreciation of the great diversity of ceramics, and has also given me an awareness of our own short time to contribute. This has led me to focus on a limited range of work with the intention of exploring it in depth.