Bryce Brisco originally hails from rural northwestern Arkansas. After receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts with Honors in Painting from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, he pursued the study of functional pottery in North Carolina and Louisiana. He attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he is a received a Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics. Most recently he is the Clay Artist-in-Residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft.
I am deeply interested in Southern American folk wares and the three main cultural influences that this tradition was derived from: German salt glaze, English slipware, and Chinese ash glaze. These formal choices paired with a rigorous studio practice of critical dialogue and conceptual inquiry fuel my attempt to better access and articulate the content of functional pottery. This includes examining pottery from not only a functional standpoint, but the roles it plays historically, culturally, and symbolically. Handmade pottery, especially that from deeply rooted traditions, has survived our culture’s technological advancements, based on its ability to provide a meaningful aesthetic experience in concert with its delivery or containment of food and beverage. Towards this end I employ locally sourced clays and ash, as well as cullet, to situate the pots more specifically to their site of origin. I believe that a close working relationship with a few idiosyncratic materials yields qualities unattainable by those commercially available. The process of minimally refining clay, ash, and recycled glass coupled with wood firing in a salt atmosphere imbues the pots with a sense of liveliness and beauty. I appreciate the unknown factors and surprises implicit in these processes.