I love artisanal ceramics. My sister once said, “If you’re going to have useful items in your house, they might as well be beautiful.” I wholeheartedly agree. Beautiful and useful items–including artisanal ceramics–add joy and texture to daily life.

The delicate texture of this Bowl and Dinner Plate set by A. Blair Clemo is my favorite of the show.

At some point, this interest got me onto the mailing list of the Schaller Gallery, of St. Joseph, MI. Each month they feature top-shelf ceramists in several themed shows, which they share online. I recently logged on to view their “Winter White” show.

Here’s a different view of one of A. Blair Clemo’s wonderful bowls.

I’ve always loved the effects that can be developed with a white overglaze on subtle textures, so I eagerly clicked on the link. My standout favorites in this show were the bowls and dinner plates of A. Blair Clemo, who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, and whose work has been featured in shows all over the world.

Martha H. Grover’s subtle touch turns her Nested Bowls into something magical.

Another highlight of the show for me was Martha H. Grover’s  Nested Bowls, which also offer a subtle texture and organic treatment to a practical object. Grover is a widely-exhibited and highly regarded functional potter and porcelain artist who lives in Maine. She describes her approach as seeking to create “a sense of elegance for the user while in contact” with each piece.

Here’s a wider view of Grover’s Nesting Bowls, which combine subtle elegance and organic form.

Minnesota regionalist Matthew Krousey turns a simple Berry Bowl into something more.

I also liked Matthew Krousey’s Berry Bowl, featuring a graceful, spiraling base that turns a utilitarian object into a piece of practical artwork–just the aesthetic my sister described. Krousey describes himself as a “modern day regionalist” from Minnesota who regularly exhibits his pottery, sculpture and murals.

This angle gives a better look at the upper part of Krousey’s Berry Bowl.

These three artists offer markedly different approaches, but they all arrive at the fusion of practical and beautiful which is the joy of fine artisanal craft art.

IMAGES: All images are courtesy of the Schaller Gallery’s “Winter White” online exhibition. Please take some time to look at the entire show for yourself. There are many other wonderful pieces to see there!