Chris Gustin was formerly Associate Professor of Ceramics and the senior faculty of the ceramics program at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. After twenty years of teaching and working with hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, he retired from academia in 1999 to devote full time and energies to his studio work and tile production company.
I am interested in pottery that make connections to the human figure. The figurative analogies used to describe pots throughout history all in some way invite touch. The pots that I respond to all speak of a clear, direct sense of the hand. The hand is celebrated in the work by its maker, whether it is that of a fifteenth century rural potter or a nineteenth century court artisan. And it becomes a necessary tool for the user in understanding the relationship of the object to its function, and subsequently, to how that object informs ones life.
Making tile is a way for me to connect to the basics of functional ceramics and to touch the roots of utilitarian clay. My studio work over the years has moved away from an interest in function and utility to an interest in sculptural form. Yet the desire to make things that function in our daily lives still resonates deeply within me. I have found that this “need” is indeed quite strong, and over the years I have occasionally fed it by making simple objects for daily use; the cup, the bowl, the plate.
Chris’s work is on display in the McGuireWoods Gallery February 29 – August 23, 2020. The artist talk and reception scheduled for Saturday, March 28 from 4-6pm has been postponed due to the closure of the Workhouse Campus due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Enjoy the virtual exhibit and Chris’s studio talk below.