Friday, March 9, 2012

The Cup: Peter Hessemer - Lake Forest, IL

We see because of light.  We feel because of touch.  Together these senses provide most of our immediate experiences.  Only smell is more primal.

Peter Hessemer Ice Tea Cup vitreous porcelain
(5.25 x 4.75 x 4.75) inches CUP 085 $160 SOLD

Removing the visual richness of my previous work leaves only light and texture.  So I developed a clay-like material that is extremely translucent.  Some pieces are dry and sandy, and some are like fine satin to the touch.

Peter Hessemer Swirling Snow Cup vitreous porcelain
(4 x 4 x 4 inches) CUP 086 $90

The material is formed directly and wet for both hand-built and wheel turned pieces.  This aspect of my work has not changed.  Drawing in the surface or building with layers of “clay” makes the material thicker and thinner.

Then light shows the forms, construction, and drawings.  I know of no malleable commercial material that can do this so successfully.

Peter Hessemer Machine Screw Cup vitreous porcelain
(4.5 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches) CUP 087 $90

These pieces are intimate in size and feel.  I am still drawn to work directly formed, and vulnerable to the flaws that allow us to feel into the work.  I hope my new pieces stand without the protective mask of technical proficiency or pretty seduction, naked.

Peter Hessemer Snow Fence Cup vitreous porcelain
(4 x 4 x 4 inches) CUP 088 $90

I wonder if Bernard Leach would accept such an unnatural material played with, I believe, as comfortably as brown mud.

Peter Hessemer PH Cup vitreous porcelain
(4 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches) CUP 089 $125 SOLD

Forty years ago I studied with Rudolf Staffel, Ruth Duckworth, and Toshiko Takeazu.  For thirty six years I have taught ceramics at Oakton Community College in the suburban area of Chicago, Illinois.  I have always exhibited the work from my studio.  I am very fortunate to have had these specific teachers and many years of employment working with students.

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