Maker of the Week - Eric Serritella

Thursday 22 September 2011

Clay is the centre of Eric Serritella's life. He is involved with it in one way or another almost every day: "Through clay I express my love for the natural world and its continuous beauty. I am fortunate to make my living as an artist, sharing my visions in a medium to which I feel deeply connected," he says.

Eric says that clay found him in 1996 when he took a hobby pottery class to find a new creative outlet and bring more balance to a busy corporate career. He expected to simply discover an enjoyable pastime but the medium affected him more than he realised. Eric soon began Muddy Paws Pottery, a functional pottery production business, in an effort to follow clay's calling and to bring a new spirit and satisfaction to his work life: "At present I dedicate all of my studio time to creating trompe l'oeil sculptures," he says.

Eric's work is based in the Yixing tradition and of the influence of Ah Leon. His trompe l'oeil teapot is part of the path he is traveling as he continues to develop his own artistic voice.

"Through my ceramic trompe l'oeil sculptures I challenge the viewer with both the nature of the material and the messages within. Whether wheel-thrown or hand-built, these forms are completely hand carved and transformed to mimic weathered logs and birch trees - the angels of the forest."

Eric is inspired both by the purity of nature and the Asian art aesthetic and he finds that clay is the ideal medium for reflecting both.

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Images, from top to bottom:

1. 'Paper Birch Basket,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 125mm (5in) high x 355mm (14in) wide x 125mm (5in) dia., 2010


2. 'Priority: Peace Teapot,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 405mm (16in) high x 330mm (13in) wide x 50mm (2in) dia. 2011

3. 'Sassy Birch Teapot,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 405mm (16in) high x 355mm (14in) wide x 180mm (7in) dia. 2008

4. 'Reach for the Stars,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 200mm (8in) high x 330mm (13in) wide x 180mm (7in) dia. 2010

5. 'Book of Trees,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 330mm (13in) high x 305mm (12in) wide x 180mm (7in) dia. 2010

6. 'Box of Dreams,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 305mm (12in) high x 380mm (15in) wide x 180mm (7in) dia., 2010

7. 'Fallen Angel,' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 200mm (8in) high x 2743mm (108in) long x 1625 (64in) wide, 2010

8. 'Stranded Cetacean (a.k.a. Birched Whale),' hand carved ceramic/stoneware, 150mm (6in) high x 2438mm (96in) long x 1065mm (42in) wide, 2010