My proposed avenue of study involves a focused investigation of ornament on functional pottery. More specifically how the use of embellishment enhances utility and assists in the creation of a context for communal experiences: gatherings of a colloquial, informal, or casual nature. More specifically, this body of work explores the archetypal forms of tableware and how they manifest under the auspice of `small gatherings'. In addition to the apparent characteristics of `use' and `appearance' there are also numerous possibilities that may intersect with the ideas of utility and decoration. The content of this work is embedded in historical modes and sensibilities. Functional pottery and ornament have always run in tandem. In general one has changed with the other, and both are subject to mutations through the course of their movements in time and geography. A significant component of the research embedded in this body of work is the investigation of change and permutation from the forces of cultural influence. The result is something made in our time, but not necessarily of our time. Something that is perhaps out of context, but for its contemporary origins. The conclusion this work reaches is open-ended and somewhat undefinable, but under the premis of `functional' and by the actual use of these pots there is and undeniable constancy in the relationship between user and object that is apparent in the work.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Ceramic tableware; Pottery--Technique; Pottery--Themes, motives; Decoration and ornament
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
O'Connell, Sean, "Small gatherings" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus