Staff Picks: Pete Scherzer - The Yellow Jar

Showing with us for the first time during the Functional Ceramics show Manoa, Hawaii based artist Pete Scherzer shares his impeccably wheel thrown vessels. I first came across Scherzer’s work on a recent trip to the twin cities. Always on the look out for new ceramics I made a stop at Northern Clay Center. If you are a ceramics lover and find yourself in St. Paul, Minnesota this place is a must see. They have a huge variety of work on display, but my attention was immediately drawn to Pete’s work. He uses a deep red clay body, throwing beautifully thin forms with wonderful little unexpected details such as an extra little flair at the base of a perfectly pulled handle, or a subtle undercut on the foot of a bowl. Then there are the glazes, Pete uses thick opaque brightly colored finishes that break over the edges of the form allowing the red clay to show through. The work stuck with me, so when Theresa and I sat down to plan our functional ceramics show and we thought about who we should invite, he seemed like the perfect artist to include. Pete sent us so many beautiful pieces for this exhibit. There were mugs with thick pink glazes, and bowls with creamy finishes set off by flashes of blue, green, and rusty orange. Then there was the little yellow jar. This perfectly round vessel glazed in his trademark yellow is like a little sunny globe. A perfectly fitted lid sits atop this little round body, and the inside of the lid is glazed with the same bright yellow finish. This little added detail displays Pete’s attention to every aspect of the piece from the throwing, to the trimming, to the glaze. The piece looks simple and effortless, but upon closer inspection it is evident it was created by a very skilled hand.

-Ann Orlowski
 Assistant Art Director