The Michiana Potters
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156 pages

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A new pottery tradition has been developing along the border of northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Despite the fact that this region is not yet an established destination for pottery collectors, Michiana potters are committed to pursuing their craft thanks to the presence of a community of like-minded artists. The Michiana Potters, an ethnographic exploration of the lives and art of these potters, examines the communal traditions and aesthetics that have developed in this region. Author Meredith A. E. McGriff identifies several shared methods and styles, such as a preference for wood-fired wares, glossy glaze surfaces, cooler colors, the dripping or layering of glazes on ceramics that are not wood-fired, the handcrafting of useful wares as opposed to sculptural work, and a tendency to borrow forms and decorative effects from other regional artists. In addition to demonstrating a methodology that can be applied to studies of other emergent regional traditions, McGriff concludes that these styles and methods form a communal bond that inextricably links the processes of creating and sharing pottery in Michiana.

1. Michiana Connections: An Introduction
2. Education, Identity, and Vocational Habitus
3. The Michiana Aesthetic and the Collaborative Process of Wood Firing
4. Collection Practices: Maintaining the Aesthetic
5. More Than Pottery in Michiana; More than Michiana in Pottery
6. The Potter's Social Life
Epilogue: Constant Change
Appendix I: Michiana Pottery Tour Maps
Appendix II: Apprentices, Assistants, and/or Interns
Works Cited



Publié par
Date de parution 03 août 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253052407
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 5 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



Art, Community, and Collaboration in the Midwest
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2020 by Meredith McGriff
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-04964-3 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-253-04965-0 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-253-05240-7 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 5 25 24 23 22 21 20
Cover image: Pottery from the author s collection. All of the pieces pictured were made by potters who have exhibited at the Michiana Pottery Tour and/or participated in Michiana wood firings.
Top shelf (left to right): Jennifer Beachy, Parker Hunt, Dick Lehman, David Gamber, Mark Goertzen, Stephanie Galli, Todd Leach.
Second shelf (l to r): Justin Rothshank, Unzicker Bros. Pottery (Tom and Jeff Unzicker), Chad Hartwig, Brandon Fuzzy Schwartz, Bill Hunt, Dick Lehman, Todd Pletcher.
Third shelf (l to r): Irina Gladun, Eric Strader, Samantha Hostert, Mark Goertzen, Eric Botbyl, Brandon Fuzzy Schwartz, Mark Goertzen.
Fourth shelf (l to r): Marvin Bartel, Sadie Misiuk, Keith Hershberger, Fred Driver, Troy Bungart, Mark Nafziger, Zach Tate.
Bottom shelf (l to r): Moey Hart, Troy Bungart, Unzicker Bros. Pottery (Tom and Jeff Unzicker), Justin Rothshank, Todd Pletcher, Cindy Cooper, Dick Lehman.
1 Michiana Connections: An Introduction
2 Education, Identity, and Vocational Habitus
3 The Collaborative Process of Wood Firing and The Michiana Aesthetic
4 Collection Practices: Maintaining the Aesthetic
5 More Than Pottery in Michiana; More Than Michiana in Pottery
6 The Potter s Work: Conclusions
Epilogue: Constant Change
Appendix I: Michiana Pottery Tour Maps
Appendix II: Apprentices, Assistants, and/or Interns
Works Cited
As with any extensive project, I could not have completed my research and writing without the help of numerous others. First, my unending gratitude to my husband, Thomas DeCarlo, who has been my friend, my partner, and my sounding board for every idea that I have pursued in our years together. His enthusiasm for my research, his eye for all things artistic, and his insightful questions and comments have guided my work in more ways than I can count, and his love and assistance both at home and in the field are appreciated beyond words. I am also eternally grateful to my parents, Gary and Lori McGriff, who provided me with the education and encouragement that initially set me on the path to becoming an artist and scholar. Without their unwavering support, and that of my extended family, I would not have been able to complete this book.
I am grateful also to my children-both of whom arrived during the course of my researching and writing-for the inspiration, light, and love they have brought into my life. It is beyond wonderful to be able to learn from them and in turn to introduce them to the worlds of folkloristics and ceramics. And, of course, an extra thanks to all their grandparents for their support, particularly the childcare that allows Thomas and me time to work on our respective projects!
Throughout the process of researching and writing, I have also been fortunate to have wonderful, supportive friends, many of whom are close enough to call family. Jesse, Kristina, Shannon, Michelle, Suzanne, Kelley, Emily, Meg, Jeremy, Tiffany, Shelly, Jess-you have all kept me going through the good times and the bad, and I am forever grateful to have each of you in my life.
I must also thank the faculty of Indiana University s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; you welcomed me with open arms, taught me to be a folklorist, and provided incredible guidance as I began to pursue this new career. In particular, I would like to thank Pravina Shukla for her unwavering enthusiasm for my research and many words of wisdom along the way. She was the first person to show me that becoming a folklorist and studying material culture was a feasible path and went on to provide me with tremendous educational and professional opportunities over the years; I will remain forever grateful for her continued support. Likewise, Jason Jackson welcomed me into the Mathers Museum and, along with the rest of the staff there, helped me to navigate curating an exhibit for the first time. Thanks also go to Michael Foster and Diane Goldstein for their insightful advice on earlier versions of this text, and for their confidence in my ability to complete this research. I must also thank Henry Glassie for his scholarship, interest in my research, and many words of encouragement over the years; without The Potter s Art , I might never have found my way to folkloristics.
Many thanks also go to the rest of the faculty and staff of the Folklore Department for their friendship (to the staff in particular for their ever-cheerful guidance on administrative matters). They have been fantastic colleagues during my time at Indiana University and the American Folklore Society. Brandon Barker deserves thanks for spurring my interest in embodiment, and providing guidance as I initially delved into that research. Similarly, Julie Van Voorhis in the art history department provided vital feedback on early drafts of chapter 4 . Additionally, my heartfelt appreciation to Jon Kay of Traditional Arts Indiana and Judy Stubbs of the Indiana University Art Museum, who both provided me with not only job opportunities but also invaluable advice on tackling the writing process; their mentorship went above and beyond work-related matters.
Similarly, many thanks to the board, staff, and other leaders of the American Folklore Society who welcomed me into my role there and encouraged my endeavors, both professional and scholarly. To my AFS coworkers, past and present-Tim, Lorraine, Jessica, Jesse, Roz, Evangeline, Alex-you have provided me with a wonderful place to work, and I m ever grateful for your moral support on projects, like this one, that I have taken on outside of work. A special note of appreciation goes to Tim Lloyd; with research interests closely aligned to my own, he has been a marvelous mentor in recent years and also, unknowingly, gave me inspiration for the structure of this text during a guest lecture, long before we ever worked together.
I also thank the staff of Indiana University Press who have supported the production of this book. In particular, my thanks to Jason Jackson and Janice Frisch for their editorial expertise and encouragement in bringing this book into the Material Vernacular series, and to Allison Chaplin for her assistance in keeping the project moving. My genuine thanks, also, to the two anonymous reviewers who provided encouraging feedback and suggestions for improvements to this manuscript.
Above all, my deepest gratitude to the potters who informed this text. I first learned to make pots from Gloria May, Gary Paschal, Mike Thiedeman, Linda Arndt, Vance Bell, and Ted Neal, and I m ever grateful for their training. And I could not have written a single paragraph without the insights the Michiana potters kindly shared about their lives and work. In many ways, this book ought to list innumerable coauthors, and I have tried to include their own words in this manuscript as often as possible. In particular, my thanks go to Dick Lehman, Mark Goertzen, Justin Rothshank, Todd Pletcher, Marvin Bartel, Bill Kremer, Zach Tate, Troy Bungart, Moey Hart, Brandon Fuzzy Schwartz, and Stephanie Galli for their encouragement, hospitality, and eagerness to engage in numerous conversations about their work. Many thanks, also, to the partners and family members who have been likewise welcoming and kind, particularly Jo Lehman, Suzanne Ehst, Brooke Rothshank, and Anna Corona. And a special note of appreciation to Scott Lehman for his friendship many years ago, which I am pleased to have renewed in recent years.
Those who are most centrally involved in the Michiana pottery community, or who spend a greater portion of their days balanced between clay and fire, are included in the following pages as much as possible by name and with photographs. Yet there are dozens of others who engage with this tradition, who flow in and out of the broader movement, which is urged ever onward by a collective passion for handmade pottery. I am grateful to each and every person who has contributed to the vibrant Michiana pottery tradition; it is an honor to know and learn from you all.
I once heard serendipity described as the joy of hitting a target you didn t know you were aiming for -hopefully one day someone will point me to the source of this apt description. Certainly it is one I can relate to, as my research has had many such moments over the years. I did not set out to study the potters who make wood-fired pottery, nor did I plan to focus my research on the American Midwest. However, I was born and raised in Indiana

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