Mark Shapiro continues an ongoing exploration of bottle forms with non-narrative, abstract, rhythmic line patterns. Shapiro uses the power of line on surface to explore gestural, expressive calligraphic fields of scratched lines that imply music, writing, and history. His medium is stoneware and his color palette is derived from the results of firing with wood fuel. Focusing on the bottle form he stretches the various parts - neck, handles, body - all of which are exaggerated by scale. The larger works range to five feet in height
Mark Shapiro at MudFire
Mark Shapiro Artist Bio
Mark Shapiro has made wood fired functional pots in Western Massachusetts for the past twenty years. He is a frequent workshop leader and panelist. His interests include early American stoneware as a source of inspiration for contemporary potters, apprenticeship, and criticism and documentation of the field. His work is shown by the Ferrin and Lacoste Galleries in Massachusetts and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Racine Art Museum, the Mint Museum (NC), the International Museum of Ceramics at Alfred, NY, and the Currier Museum (NH).
Mark Shapiro Artist Statement
"The town is sacked. Silver and gold, even bronze, are beaten into crude billets to be hauled off and melted. Houses burned; prisoners taken, or not. And in the wreckage: bones, stones, and pot-shards.
Clay's low material intrinsic value and fragility, ironically, make it endure as one of the most compelling records of the human touch on the earth. The bottom of the ovoid jug is marked by the potter's two-hundred-year-old fingerprints, just as the earth's strata are uniquely marked in clay fragments by all the peoples who struggled here to endure.
Where will my pots end up? In the landfills with the lawnmowers and TVs and silicon chips-the giant middens of our insatiable desires? No matter. I am glad just to leave a record of my own touch in this most receptive fragile and enduring material." - Mark Shapiro