Our collaborative work is a fusion of tradition and innovation. While deeply grounded in the craft processes of clay, we push our materials, forms, and formats to address culture’s challenges in new ways--generating forms that may surprise in their ability to embody balance and fresh perspectives.
Our most recent project, Attention Bridge, addresses the tensions that divide and distress us within our highly polarized society. Rather than trying to convince or coerce, the components of the project help us practice moving between (or bridging) these tensions to find creative balance. We use the materiality of clay to create a form that can hold these tensions, such as being both fixed and fluid; static and yet still unfolding. Attention Jar is built in the form of a traditional Urn; a vessel that bridges the physical and the spiritual; it holds space for grief and memory in a tactile and symbolic way.
In forming Attention Jar, we embedded clay fragments, marbled portions, airbrush, broad color strokes, crawling + gloss glaze, and luster to reflect varied experiences of life lived over time—catching all the different things that distract us and hold our attention; creating a history on the piece itself. We grew and formed the lid from mycelium, the underground network that forms mushrooms and is increasingly recognized for its vital contribution to life in all forms. Mycelium has become a potent material and metaphor for us as it models synergistic community and regeneration.
Josh and Margaret began collaborating in ceramics around 2005, when they launched Dovetail Ceramics (now, Dovetail Practice). Josh has an MFA from the University of Kentucky and studied with Werkplaats Typographie in Urbino, Italy. His background in printmaking and contemporary art infuses a unique perspective on the traditional craft of clay. Margaret studied at Penland, Alfred, and Lillstreet and earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her background brought a deep understanding of the material and process. By fusing approaches, they designed and crafted a line of black and white hand-built dishes with bold screen-printed images.
As early Etsy members, their pieces caught the eye of the Orange County Museum of Art resulting in the opportunity to sell in the OCMA museum shop. In 2009, they received a Merit Award from the Rosen Group of American Craft and recognition by the American Craft Council. Their unconventional approach to connecting with venues (Youngblood in Atlanta/ Relish in San Francisco), resulted in their work being featured throughout the country for over 10 years. Their wholesale clients included an international distribution deal with Urban Outfitters.
Over time, their work has become less production-based and more theoretical and experimental; their interest in getting ideas into the material eclipsed their desire for volume. This approach, while deeper and slower, has been satisfying and generative. Their work was recently added to the New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC) museum shop and accepted for inclusion in the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) 2024 annual as well as Fahrenheit 24 at AMOCA (American Museum of Ceramic Art) in Los Angeles, CA.
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