Pottery. Mike Weber Exhibition. New pieces fired in Rocket Thing at Sara Japanese Pottery. September 27th Fri. 28th Sat. 29th Sun. 2013. Opening reception on September 27th Fri. 6-8 pm. An amazing event. If you have the chance, don’t miss it, Yareah friends.
We are happy to announce that Sara Japanese Pottery will host Mike Weber’s third solo exhibition presenting new pieces fired in Rocket Thing, his fifth kiln, built in 2012.
The kiln, Rocket Thing, can produce the heat and power of a rocket engine. The work will represent the culmination of his artistry and where he is today. It will encompass his essence, his ability to be open to all people and things, the spirit of Zen, and the spiritual world of Japan that influenced Mike.
In the mornings of 1971, at the age of 30, Mike Weber would go to the river to get water. He lead his life without gas or electricity deep in the forests of Northern Wisconsin, and built a small cabin and his first kiln Salty ; this was the beginning of his life as a wood fire ceramicist. At night, he would use the light of a lantern, and a wood-fired stove to cook, to take a bath, and to keep warm.
In becoming a wood-fire ceramicist, he cultivated the earth to grow vegetables and to live a life of self-sufficiency. Similar to a monk living in a temple on a mountain, Mike’s daily rituals brought his physical and spiritual worlds closer together.
In 1984, Mike met the Spanish artist Joan Gardy Artigas, in Madison, Wisconsin, where he assisted Joan with a firing. This was a precursor to Mike’s trip to Spain, where he and Joan worked together on 1100 tiles that would become a mural installation in Atlanta, Georgia. Mike traveled again to Spain, in 1987 and 1994, to work on his sculptures.
Joan Gardy Artigas was a student of Joan Miro. These two artists would have a strong influence on Mike’s works – a world of color and curves.
During this time, in 1990, while researching at a library Mike happened upon a book with a picture of a Momoyama era Shino tea bowl. He was enchanted by the warmth and beauty of the Shino tea bowl, and he began making his own using his second kiln, Big Boy, built in 1989.
His third kiln Shino was built in three years later in 1992. By this time, Mike’s work had undoubtedly embraced the world of traditional Japanese pottery.
Without any formal training, drawing from his six years of experience living without gas and electricity, he taught himself the wood-fire technique. Through this process and his connection with Japanese culture, Zen teachings, and the spiritual world, certainly, this would evolve into the philosophical core behind his work.
In 1995, Mike traveled to Japan to seek out a style of his own. He visited many potter’s studios, whereupon he met Shiro Tsujimura. At this time, Shiro Tsujimura gave Mike what would become the most valuable piece of knowledge: “Make a kiln that is even smaller.” When he returned from this trip, Mike built Rocket Man.
This kiln achieved what Mike had been unable to accomplish up until that point; it created pieces that had a wide-range of surface color, texture and expression.
That same year when Mike came to New York to establish his name as a ceramicist, he heard about Sara Japanese Pottery. He came to the store and became one of the artists represented by Sara.
In 1997, Mike participated in a group show in Mashiko, Japan. In 2000, he had a solo show in Tokyo, Japan. In 2007, he had a show with Malcolm Wright and Jack Troy titled, “The Three Great American Potters,” at Sara Japanese Pottery, in New York City. In 2010, he had his first solo show at Sara, “Sculpture and Vessel.” In 2011, he had his second solo show at Sara, “Wood Fire Ceramic.”
This year, Sara will host his third solo show presenting new pieces fired in Rocket Thing, his fifth kiln, built in 2012. The kiln, Rocket Thing, can produce the heat and power of a rocket engine. The work will represent the culmination of his artistry and where he is today. It will encompass his essence, his ability to be open to all people and things, the spirit of Zen, and the spiritual world of Japan that influenced Mike.
The show will illustrate his personal experience and understanding of the spiritual world in a three-day exhibition. It beckons the question to the artist, “How has this process taken you here?”
Sara Japanese Pottery 950 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10021 http://www.saranyc.com/