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About Joel Willson

Joel Willson grew up in Pakistan and Germany, and received a B.A. in Studio Art from Bethel University in 2014. After graduating, he worked as a production potter in Minneapolis and as an apprentice to S.C. Rolf in River Falls, Wisconsin. In 2018, he moved to Western North Carolina to apprentice with Michael Kline, and is currently the Education Technician at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Artist Statement

I seek to make pots that are approachable, practical, and beautiful. The pots beckon the user into a deeper relationship with their world and the objects with which they surround themselves.

I use strong, simple forms as a canvas for surface decoration based in carving linear arcs and overlapping circles. The patterns that emerge reference sacred geometry and art-deco. This 2-D approach, when mapped onto a 3-D vessel, create a surface that rewards tactile engagement with the piece.

Atmospheric soda effects highlight and obscure decorative information, and leave visual and physical evidence of the flame. Where soda vapor makes contact with the pots, strong lines are softened, clay is turned into glaze, and vessels made from earth become objects of utility and beauty.

Instagram: @joelwillsonpottery

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