Culture has been defined as what we make of the world. Functional pottery is Paul Eshelman’s cultural attempt, through the material of clay, to bring order and human dignity to the merely physical act of consuming food and drink. As his pots are used daily, Paul’s hope is that they carry measures of quiet and nourishment for body and spirit. He imagines people at a dinner table, workspace, or office cubicle where food and drink are served and humanized by hospitable, well-ordered pots.
The pieces are made using a casting process in molds Paul designs and makes. The clay body is a red stoneware; the glazes are all lead free. Clarity is given to his simple forms by contrasting glazed and unglazed surfaces. Pure clean glazes render elegant presentation of food and drink.
Paul received a B.A. in art from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and an M.F.A. in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Since 1988 Paul and his wife Laurel, have been living and making pottery in Elizabeth, Illinois. The pottery has gone out to enhance the lives of people across the country. They are in service at the Alinea group restaurant, Roister, in Chicago and at Teaism in Washington, DC. The work has appeared in numerous books and magazines and held in permanent museum collections including:
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred, New York
The Goldstein Museum of Design, University of Minnesota
The International Museum of Dinnerware Design, Ann Arbor, Michigan
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, Texas
Santa Fe Clay, New Mexico
Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred, New York
Outside the Lines Art Gallery
1101 Main St
Dubuque, IA 52001
101 S Main St
Galena, IL 61036
257 Iowa Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52240