The Blog

Portraits and ponderings from the writing desk of Jill Foote-Hutton.

Niel Hora and Garret Pendergrass at JFH Studio


I have such romantic notions of craft and people who make functional things. I admire functional things, they surround my life. Yet, I don't trend toward making traditionally useful things myself. Even when my own work begins as a functional form, I can't help putting a craggy surface on it. My sweet Michael always gets on to me for this, but I just gotta be me I guess. It's been great to showcase the work of sculptural, contemporary ceramic work at JFH Studio and I hope to keep doing so as long as I have the space. If anyone out there has suggestions I'll gladly take them, still quality functional work is the comfort food of clay.
Niel's Hollow Rimmed Square Bowl, now part of the Krueger Pottery CollectionGarret's Crown Treasure Box, now part of the Gaye Ann Hutton Collection.

Niel Hora and Garret Pendergrass do that straddle thing so well betwixt and between art and craft and never seem to lose their personal vision. Niel's work is without a doubt functional, but the surface patterns and the form are steeped in formalism. Garret's work starts at the edge of the functional cliff and takes a leap off into the joy of form and material. JFH Studios second Art Dinner was a great success, we upped the invitation list because the East Central College Students were so into the demo and lecture during the day.

We discussed the work cycle of an artist. The development of form. Finding the "answer" in the "work". Layers of content. The ever twirling cycle of chasing economy in the effort takes to create, not to mention the economics of trying to survived on your ceramic work alone. We definitely discussed the Mud Pie Dilemma, John Nance's interview with Tom Coleman. We also covered what was the best recipe for potato salad and wether or not pineapple upside down cake has to look good to taste good. We discussed networking, the rise of "research-based art" and what that means, doesn't everyone research? Compared and contrasted research-based, supported with objects vs. object-based, supported with research. So much more, and managed to make a few sales for Niel and Garret.