Arguably the world’s first art form, ceramics offer a unique perspective on the development of human culture and society. Over millennia, rough coil pots made by Neolithic mankind from local clay deposits developed into a wide range of increasingly sophisticated pottery reflecting the sensibilities of their developing cultures and technologies.
As immediate practical needs were filled, the human urge to invent, improve and decorate led to the widely disparate production in the eighteenth century of such works as the panoply of figures, animals and birds made by the Meissen factory in Germany, the nearly thousand-piece banquet services commissioned by Catherine the Great from Wedgwood in England and Sèvres in France, or the seemingly humble but infinitely nuanced tea bowls fashioned by medieval Japanese master craftsman Koetsu.
Today, ceramics abound in every facet of our lives — domestic, industrial, artistic, and even political, as in Ai Wei Wei’s geopolitical installations or Richard Notkin’s terracotta tiles. Recent developments in three-dimensional ceramic printing techniques will in turn lead to exciting aesthetic and practical innovations in the medium, even as contemporary ceramicists still produce highly original coil pots.
And so the potter’s wheel ever turns, binding us all in its infinite expressive potential.
The Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, comprises over a hundred members from the metropolitan tri-state area, including art historians, curators, appraisers, private collectors, dealers, both amateur and professional ceramicists, and art aficionados. A 501(c)(3) organization, the CCSC was founded in 1989 to promote the understanding of and appreciation for pottery and porcelain, and to disseminate knowledge about the subject.
The CCSC sponsors occasional trips to notable collections both private and public, and the research group meets once a month for in-depth inquiry into selected topics. Our monthly lectures, given by recognized authorities in their fields, offer interesting and informed perspectives on ceramic manufacture, use, history, appraisal, seminal figures, and contemporary developments.
All lectures are held at the Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT. The annual seminar will be held at the First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich, CT. Lectures are held on the second Monday of the month and begin at 1:15 p.m. Refreshments and free-wheeling discussion follow. Non-members are welcome to attend any lecture for a fee of $25. A printable calendar of the 2017-18 season appears in the lower left hand sidebar of the Calendar page.