PETER PINCUS: Channeling Josiah Wedgwood

PETER PINCUS: Channeling Josiah Wedgwood November 10–December 29 Reception and Artist Talk, Saturday, November 10, 5- 7pm Download Press Release Ferrin Contemporary presents PETER PINCUS: Channeling Josiah Wedgwood, a creative...


Project Statement- Channeling Josiah Wedgwood

Obsession—not mine but Josiah Wedgwood’s—was the impetus for Peter Pincus: Channeling Josiah Wedgwood. The eighteenth-century English potter and entrepreneur was determined to patent the reproduction process of Etruscan pottery. His drive to claim intellectual ownership over these ancient vessels is one of his many fixations that brought me to Birmingham, Alabama and the Dwight and Lucille Beeson Wedgwood Collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

In examining the work I began to understand the diversity of thought and skill involved in Wedgwood’s pottery production. I concluded that the best way to understand fully his obsession was to combine intellectual understanding and the making process by mimicking his mimicry.

This exhibition is an extension of my lectures and discussions on Wedgwood’s innovative thinking as it related to clay and the Industrial Revolution and how that could serve as a context for viewing contemporary ceramics, culture, and technology. This body of work is a preliminary attempt to challenge myself by consciously linking this study of history with my creative practice.


Artist Statement

As an early career ceramic artist, I am part of a lively and rapidly changing conversation in which the worlds of art, craft, and design are increasingly defined not only by their distinctions, but also by their similarities and relationships to one another. There is tremendous meaning in the transcendence of the pot to engage in all of these ideologies; object of substantial craftsmanship, object of use, object of design intellect, and object of conceptual metaphor.

I produce three-dimensional paintings out of pots. The big challenge is to study and make objects that have a distinct location in the home, using our familiarity toward them to instigate new discussions about the role of the vessel in our place and time. I focus on containers that are status symbols saved for special occasions, generally deemed distinct because of the value of what they hold rather than for what they are. But to me, in between such occasions, they become canvases that visually illustrate the defining spirit of the times. They are useful as well as opulent. But they can be so much more.

—Peter Pincus



Born in Rochester, NY, Peter Pincus is a ceramic artist and professor. Peter received his BFA (2005) and MFA (2011) in ceramics from Alfred University, and in between was a resident artist at the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California.  Since graduate school, Peter worked as the Studio Manager and Resident Artist Coordinator of the Genesee Center for Arts and Education in Rochester, NY, Adjunct Professor of three-dimensional studies at Roberts Wesleyan College and established a studio in Penfield NY.  In Fall 2014, Peter joined the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology as Visiting Assistant Professor in Ceramics, and is now Assistant Professor of Art.

His work can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, The Everson Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, Schien-Joseph International Museum, and The Arkansas Arts Center Museum. In 2017, Peter received the Lewis Comfort Tiffany Award.



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