Five Questions with Warren Frederick, Potter

Warren Frederick, who will again participate in Pottery on the Hill in 2017, has lived in Warrenton, Virginia since 1988, sharing a studio with fellow artist and wife, Catherine White (who will also be at Pottery on the Hill). Aesthetically, there’s an imaginary double yellow line splitting the studio in half as they separately pursue their independent visions. Mechanically, however, they assist each other in clay mixing, kiln firing, and the many facets of studio life. He collaboratively exploits a wood-fired anagama kiln as well as a gas-fired kiln.

We asked Warren five questions as we get ready to welcome him to the show this year.

Why are you a potter?

The transformation of wet, formless clay into evocative objects is magical.

What would you be if you weren’t a potter?

In an earlier life I was a DC consultant, but without clay I’d be a landscape architect or sculptor.

What do you like the most about Pottery on the Hill?

Whether neophytes or connoisseurs, I love meeting people curious about pottery.

What do you think it the biggest misunderstanding/incorrect idea about pottery – and what’s the truth?

Pottery is not an either/or choice between physical use and aesthetic meaning. Every object is a complex mélange of both aesthetics and physical usability. It is the dance between these two intertwined aspects that makes pottery fascinating.

Anything you want to add or tell people who might come to Pottery on the Hill?

Clay is a universal and idiosyncratic language. Come look at the diversity displayed at Pottery and the Hill and imagine how you might enhance your own aesthetic creativity by inventing endlessly different ways of using these objects.

Learn more about Warren by visiting his artist profile or meet him at Pottery on the Hill, October 27-29 at Hill Center.


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