Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teapots: An Invitational - Neil Estrick Grayslake, IL

Neil Estrick Teapot $120
porcelain, Cone 8 oxidation (8.5" x 10" x 7")

There is a cupboard full of handmade mugs in my kitchen.  Over the years my wife and I have decided which of the mugs our favorites are, and those pieces have migrated to the front of the cupboard.  The rest of the mugs rarely see the light of day, unless we have a large party.  All of the mugs in our cupboard have some level of visual appeal, but what sets our favorites apart from the rest is that they are a pleasure to use.  There is something about the quality of their construction that makes us want them to be apart of our daily lives.  I want every pot I make to have that same appeal.

While visual appeal and quality of design is very important to me, I put just as much of my energy into making sure my pots are well made.  I demand from myself a high level of craftsmanship.  My pots must be light enough to be handled comfortably, but not so thin as to make them too fragile for daily use.  The walls must be of consistent thickness for good balance, and the glaze application must be clean and even.  This attention to detail helps to ensure that my pots will be used for their intended purpose.  Functional pieces that hare aesthetically pleasing but do not successfully perform their intended function will not be used, and will be destined to sit in the back of the cupboard.

Neil Estrick holds a BFA in Visual Art with an emphasis in ceramics and photography, and a MFA in Ceramics.  He has been making pottery for more than 18 years, and specializes in wheel thrown porcelain.  Neil was born and raised in Colorado, but currently resides in Grayslake, Illinois with his wife Sara, a veterinarian, and his two young sons, Jack and Henry.

For the past 6 years he has been the owner of Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC, in Grayslake, Illinois.  In addition to being a working studio and gallery, the business has a large classroom studio space where Neil holds pottery classes for kids and adults.  Neil also offers workshops for teachers, sells kilns and other pottery equipment, and repairs kilns and wheels in the Chicago-Milwaukee area.

Website: http://www.neilestrickgallery.com/

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