What’s in a Mark?
Potters usually stamp the bottoms of their pots with an identifying mark known as a backstamp. There’s a wonderful organization here in the US called, “The Marks Project,” that documents pottery backstamps from 1946 to the present.
The Marks Project organized a panel discussion called, “What’s in a Mark?”, originally scheduled to be part of the 2020 National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference in Richmond, VA, but then postponed by Covid to the 2021 NCECA Conference in Cincinnati, which turned out to be a virtual conference. I was fortunate to be a member of this panel.
My presentation delves into my British family history in industrial ceramics, then my shift to studio pottery, and on to my practice within the traditional pottery communities of North & South Carolina. I hope you enjoy it.
Mark Hewitt, Mark’s father and grandfather were Directors of Spode, a well-known industrial china manufacturer in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He apprenticed with Michael Cardew in Devon, England, then Todd Piker in CT, and moved to North Carolina in 1983 where he started and built his own studio pottery business. Mark makes wood-fired functional pots, has written two books on Southern pottery, was a founder and served for several years as President of the NC Pottery Center, and was awarded a United States Artist Fellowship
Judith S. Schwartz, PhD, judyschwartz.com NYU Professor Emeritus, Curator, Juror, Author, and Collector focused on ceramic arts. Trustee, Howard Kottler Testamentary trust, Vice President International Academy of Ceramics, honorary member of NCECA and teaching excellence awardee 2018, honored by J. D. Rockefeller III, Fulbright Association, NYCATA/UFT and Everson and Renwick Museums.
Margaret Carney is a ceramic historian who holds a Ph.D. in Asian art history. She is the founding director and curator of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan http://dinnerwaremuseum.org/main/ She has spent her life curating exhibitions, lecturing, and writing about ceramics and the related arts.
Bethann Gerstein- is the Executive Director of the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, https://www.amoca.org CA. Gerstein holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI and a BFA from Edinboro University, PA. She serves on the Board of Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, ME.