Mixed Me­dia

Ce­ramic artist Daniel John­ston

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - — Michael Abatemarco

Ce­ramic artist Daniel John­ston brings a large-scale pot­tery in­stal­la­tion to Peters Projects where it opens to the pub­lic on Fri­day, June 2, with a 5 p.m. re­cep­tion. John­ston is at the cen­ter of a grow­ing large-pot move­ment in his home state of North Carolina. His mas­sive pots can each take up to 100 pounds of clay to make and hold 35 to 40 gal­lons apiece. John­ston picked up tech­niques from mas­ter pot­ters in the Thai vil­lage of Phon Bok, where he learned ef­fi­cient ways of pro­duc­ing large pots and jars us­ing pro­cesses that are mostly unknown in the U.S.

The project, called In­stal­la­tion (906-955) White to Black, con­sists of 50 jars aligned in a cus­tom-built curv­ing cor­ri­dor that runs through the gallery. The num­bers in the work’s ti­tle in­di­cate pro­duc­tion num­bers. Each pot is num­bered in the or­der pro­duced. Be­gin­ning with a white jar, the ves­sels grow pro­gres­sively darker as one moves through the in­stal­la­tion fi­nally end­ing with a pot of solid black. The cor­ri­dor, which shifts di­rec­tions at the cen­ter of the gallery, trans­forms the space. Raised three feet off the ground, the jars are in in­ti­mate prox­im­ity to the viewer.

John­ston is a for­mer em­ployee of a high-vol­ume North Carolina ce­ramic-pro­duc­tion stu­dio where he worked as a teenager and then later ap­pren­ticed un­der Mark He­witt. He digs most of the ma­te­ri­als used for his glazes and pots and fires them in an 850 cu­bic-foot wood kiln. “From dig­ging the clay to fir­ing the kiln I put all my ef­fort into cre­at­ing pots that have a pow­er­ful pres­ence,” he writes on his web­site. “It is im­por­tant to me to cre­ate pots that are time­less but re­flect the cul­ture and times in which I live.” Peters Projects is lo­cated at 1011 Paseo de Per­alta. Call 505-954-5800 for in­for­ma­tion.

Daniel John­ston with pots on racks; courtesy the artist and Peters Projects

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