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Atlanta's Pottery Center
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Mark Shapiro

Mark Shapiro

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

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Mark Shapiro at MudFire

Gallery group show American Masters, May 2008
Workshop presenter Teapots, Etc., April 2006
Gallery group show Teapots A-Go-Go 2006, April 2006


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

Mark Shapiro Artist Resume

1978 B.A. Anthropology, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
1987, 89 Penland School, workshop studio assistant, with Michael Simon
and Mary Roehm , Penland, NC
Solo Exhibitions:
2001 "Mark Shapiro" Lacoste Gallery, Concord MA
1996 "Mark Shapiro" Ferrin Gallery, Northampton MA
"Mark Shapiro: Wood-fired Pottery" WDO Gallery, Charlotte NC
1995 "Mark Shapiro: Wood-fired Tableware" Restaurant Tokyo, New York NY
Select Recent Group Exhibitions:
"Table Manners: International Contemporary Tableware", curated by Emmanuel Cooper, Crafts Council, London, England
"Fill It To The Rim", John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
SOFA Chicago, Ferrin Gallery, Chicago, IL
Group Show in Honor of Karen Karnes Eightieth Year, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
"Creations in Clay: Contemporary New England Ceramics", The Currier
Museum of Art,Manchester, NH
"Salutations: New Space, New Art", Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
"Great Pots! Contemporary Ceramics from Function to Fantasy",
Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ
Recent Work in Woodfired Stoneware, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
"USA Clay" Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC
"Made with Pride" American Craft Museum, New York, NY
"Beyond the Body: Architectural Ceramics" Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA (curator) "Clay / Wood / Fire / Salt" Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC
"The Poetics of Austerity" WDO Gallery, Charlotte, NC
"Pots for Daily Life," Show of Hands Gallery, Denver, CO
"SOFA Chicago" Ferrin Gallery, "Teapots Transformed," Chicago, IL
"Twenty Stokers" Blue Heron Gallery, Deer Isle, ME
"Woodfire 2000" Lill Street Gallery, Chicago, IL