M I T C H I B U R G C E R A M I C S
Mitch Iburg is an American ceramic artist who works extensively with clay and mineral resources harvested directly from the landscape. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Coe College in 2011 and has since worked in Virginia, New York, California, and Denmark - adapting bodies of work in response to the natural expressions and resources found in each location. In 2018 he established his workshop, Studio Alluvium, along with his partner, ceramic artist Zoë Powell. Located in a 100-year-old industrial building in Saint Paul, M
innesota, the studio functions as a showroom, clay processing site and workspace for producing tableware, sculpture, and vessel-based work.
The content of my work is synonymous with the setting in which it is made. By investigating the clay deposits, mineral resources, and geological expressions inherent to specific regions, I seek to create work which combines the physiological substance and emotional characteristics of place to form an expression of its terroir.
Bodies of work naturally diverge as variations of content, forming technique, surface treatment and firing method arise in response to the unique characteristics and contexts of the resources found in each setting. Collectively, I view each series as a specific resolution to the tensions between artistic intent and the intrinsic properties of natural materials.
Materials & Process
My materials are obtained directly from the earth throughout the state of Minnesota. Various clay, stones and minerals are extensively researched and tested before being blended together to arrive at a finished product that conveys the expressions of my natural surroundings while still fulfilling the requirements for basic utility.
Each piece is thrown by hand on the potters wheel. Once trimmed, multiple layers of clays, minerals, and vitreous sands are applied to achieve a surface that conveys history and depth. After firing to 2250 F./ 1232 C. each piece is hand polished with diamond pads until the texture of water-worn stone is achieved. Unless noted otherwise, each item is food safe and water tight. Hand-wash only.
Although produced in series, each piece is entirely unique. Naturally occurring stones melt to form small fissures and protrusions - resulting in localized variations in texture and color. Consistent preparation of my materials and extensive geological research has informed an approach that welcomes these variations as contributors to the unique vocabulary of the work.