Friday, September 13, 2013

Richard Aerni

Richard Aerni, platter, 
white stoneware, 19” in diameter, 2012
Richard Aerni
Rochester, NY

The first artist to be featured on this blog is Richard Aerni, a potter from Cincinnati, Ohio who now lives and works in Rochester, NY.  Aerni’s informal path into art lends a fresh and striking aesthetic to his pots.  Formal clarity marries with multiple layers of slip and glaze, evoking an emotional response by reminding the viewer of the complex beauty of the natural world.   With no formal education in art, Aerni has embraced a potter’s lifestyle of non-stop work while supporting himself through sale of his work for 25 years.

Richard Aerni, Brown Vase, 
stoneware, 15” high, 2012
As this blogger learned from more thorough writings on the artist’s website at, Richard Aernie was a geology major in college and was part owner of a restaurant at the time that he discovered his love for clay.  Perhaps these two facets of the artist give us more information than we expect; Aerni values the shared meal as well as the mysterious material processes of the earth.  Next we look to the patterns of ash glazes on forms made for the table and the clarity of his calling becomes quite evident.

While Aerni is surely a favorite potter amidst a wide array of talented potters, he is featured first due purely to alphabetical order.  Keep an eye out for the next featured artist!

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