On the occasion of the 12th Annual Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational presented by the Delhom Service League, the museum invited North Carolina potter David Stuempfle (b.1960) to create an installation in the Mint’s gallery devoted to North Carolina pottery. The museum tasked Stuempfle to use objects by artists whose work is featured in Potters Market Invitational 2016 and represented in the Mint’s permanent collection. Stuempfle decided to present these pots in a global context to emphasize that North Carolina’s potters draw from other pottery traditions across time and space. He began by searching the museum’s database and storage rooms to find other North Carolina ceramics as well as clay work from around the globe that appealed to him on an aesthetic level. The artist ended up with a striking selection of objects from our state paired with ceramics from ancient America, Asia, and Africa. Stuempfle stated: “There’s a universal quality to great pots and I wanted to show the similarity. Instead of segregating these pots based on cultural geographies, we chose to bring these pots together to show that universality.” Some of the pots were chosen because they are related to North Carolina ceramics, others because they were the best representation of the Mint’s collection, and still others for certain specific details, such as a beautiful Tenmoku glaze (an iron-rich black glaze with rust highlights) or the markings from a firing process. “I see things from the potter’s perspective—as someone involved in materials and the making process.”
The Mint Museum is grateful to Vince Long for his support of this project.