Why Clay? Forty years in, it presents an opportunity to solve an infinite number of problems, both technical and aesthetic, working without deadlines or directions from above. It allows me the chance to pursue the elusive beautiful pot in a place and manner of my choosing. Twenty years in, it allowed me to integrate family and career, earning a living on a beautiful property while being able to work the land and claim a place in the everyday life of child and spouse. At the beginning, in my one and only formal clay class, in a midwestern community pottery, my soul was afire with the idea of making tangible things, useful things, instead of analyzing and manipulating ideas. A confirmed non-conformist, I found the potters I met to be the most interesting people I knew, and the lifestyle they pursued a perfect fit for my non-corporate mindset. Richard Aerni
Richard has made his living as a studio potter since 1979. Educated in a community studio through trial and error and the generosity of other more accomplished potters, his work has always straddled the line between functional clay and "gallery" clay. Employing signature wood ash glazes and utilizing single-firing, he searches for the elusive quiet harmony of form and surface. For the past seven years he has shared his studio and life with Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz, a sculptor turned potter, and their collaborative works are what you see in this exhibition. Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz has loved and cared for animals her entire life. She was greatly influenced by her father, a professor of Ecology, in the importance of stewardship of the environment, and protection of the flora and fauna inhabiting it. Carolyn has been making art full-time since 2006, and is self-taught in sculpture. All of her ceramic work is animal-themed: pots and tiles, as well as sculpture. She tries to capture a sense of gesture and the spirit of the animal in her pieces. When you purchase her artwork, you are taking home a bit of her affection for the creatures that share our space.