The featured potters for the 2014 show are Richard Aerni of Rochester, N.Y., and Nick Joerling of Penland, N.C.
Aerni is an accomplished studio potter who came to clay by accident. He awoke one New Year's Day at a friend's house in a room surrounded by a gallery of wood-fired pots. This inspired him, and a few years later, he took a class at a local pottery studio and began his new career.
This new career has now lasted a quarter century, during which his work has been displayed at The American Craft Museum in New York City, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.
Aerni has taught ceramics at Nazareth College in Rochester, the School of American Crafts in Rochester, and the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg. He has been featured in more than a dozen magazines, including Ceramics Monthly and Studio Pottery Magazine.
Joerling is a full-time potter who has maintained a studio in Penland, N.C., since the mid-1980s. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Dayton, and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from Louisiana State University. He has taught in craft programs in the United States and abroad, been widely reviewed and exhibited, and is represented in public and private collections.
"I make pots as much from a drawing sensibility as from a pottery one," Joerling says. "Daydreaming with a pencil. Not drawing as rendering but simply doodling, then working hard to get that drawing to function."
His cues come from dance or people seated on a park bench. Joerling's unique thrown-and-altered style looks as if the works are ready to stroll away.
Joerling says: "In my studio what I hope for are pots that have qualities of sensuality, compassion, humor, and risk."