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Artist: Eric Botbyl


Eric Botbyl
Eric Botbyl, TENNESSEE
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Eric Botbyl is a full time studio potter living and working in Humboldt, TN. He received his BA in Ceramics & Sculpture from Union University in 2001. Eric’s work and writings have been featured in numerous newspapers, Mid South Living, Number Magazine, Studio Potter and Ceramics Monthly Magazine. Eric actively shows his work through several galleries, as well as invitational and juried exhibitions. In 2016 he received the “Best Thrown and Altered” award at the 24th Strictly Functional Pottery National in Lancaster, PA. He has taught many workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada and opened his own studio for community clay classes. Eric has designed and constructed 5 wood burning kilns, including the catenary cross-draft at his alma mater, which is one of the largest wood burning kilns in Tennessee. Eric and his wife Jill are also the proprietors of the Companion Gallery, a retail gallery featuring over 40 nationally recognized ceramic artists.


There is a softness and warmth about the ceramic vessel that carries with it every touch of the potter and mark of the flame. Clay is unique in its ability to record the history of its own making, and the preservation of this process is a vital element of my work.

Much of my work is inspired by the idea of entasis, an architectural design technique used by the ancient Greeks. The term, simply translated, means “swollen” or “stretched thin.” While my application is a bit more fluid and organic than the idea presented in historical context, it is at the root of everything I hope my life and work to be.

I am influenced by everything from my wife’s pregnant figure to the textured crop lines of rural western Tennessee. Oranges, eyes, barn wood, baby fat, balloon animals, human anatomy, peeling paint, stained glass and pine cones are a constant investigation points. I am intrigued by the idea of life swelling from within, seeds breaking through the earth’s surface, and the force of gravity which perpetually plays against them.

Beyond inspiration and influence, I crave the sheer physicality of working with clay. There is heavy lifting, grunting, cutting, wedging, sweating, centering, hollowing, pushing and pulling… action, art, muscle, mind and craftsmanship… curiosity, exploration, influence, risk, music, spirit and flesh… smoothing, scratching, scraping, bending, pushing, folding, denting… texture, color, pattern, design and decision… history, memory, chemistry, alchemy and serendipity. There are blacks, reds, oranges, yellows and whites… smoke, grit, gloss, sweat, hunger, humor, caffeine, work and rest. There is anticipation, fellowship, congratulations, disappointment and surprise. The challenge remains for me to create vessels that continuously speak to these elements and beyond.

CURRENT
Eric Botbyl Pottery, Self Employed Studio Potter.
Companion Gallery, Director.

TEACHING
2 Day Hands On Workshop, Clay by the Bay, San Francisco, CA
2 Day Hands On Workshop w/ Matt Schiemann, Frederick Clay Studio, Frederick, MD
2 Day Workshop/ Visiting Artist: Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA
2 Day Hands On Workshop: Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL
Lecture & Demo: Cuyahoga Community College. Parma, OH
Visiting Artist: AK Studios. Berea, OH
Sarnia/ Lambton Potters Guild. Sarnia, Ontario
Handle with Care Workshop. Goshen, Indiana
Buchanan Arts Center. Buchanan, Michigan
Collin College Ceramics. Plano, TX

2018 Exhibitions
Collaborative Companions: Organized by Justin Rothshank and Eric Botbyl
NCECA, Union Project, Pittsburgh, PA
Exquisite Forms: Charlie Cummimgs Gallery
Akar Yunomi Invitational: Iowa City, IA
Clay & Coffee, Invited: Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
The Intimate Object XIV, Invited: Charlie Cummings Gallery
Material Mugs III: UNDERGLAZE. Companion Gallery
Akar Americano Invitational: Iowa City, IA
Solo Exhibition: Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL

2017 Exhibitions
Annual Cup Show: Edwardsville Arts Center
Connecting Through Clay: Julia Martin Gallery, Nashville, TN
Americano, Invited: Akar. Iowa City, IA
The Intimate Object XIII, Invited: Charlie Cummings Gallery. Chapel Hill, NC
Akar Yunomi Invitational. Iowa City, IA
Annual Cup Show, Invited. Dog’s Eye Gallery. San Marcos, TX
Teaching: 5 Day Hands On Handle with Care/Woodfire Workshop. StarWorks, Star, NC
2 Day Workshop/ Visiting Artist. SIUE Turkey Feast Edwardsville, IL

2016 Exhibitions
The Intimate Object XII: Charlie Cummings Gallery. Chapel Hill, NC
In Flux 12 X 12: Nashville, TN
Prime Ceramics: Harvey Wood Gallery, ASU. Curated by Heather Couch
24th SFPN. Lancaster, PA Best Thrown and Altered Award
Irons in the Fire: Companion Gallery. Humboldt, TN
The Simple Cup Invitational: Kobo Gallery. Seattle, WA
Dirty South Cup Show, Invited. Alexandria, LA
Earth>Water>Fire. The Art of the Mug. Phoenix Gallery. Kansas City, MO.
Last Call: Companion Gallery. Humboldt, TN
Michiana Pottery Tour. Goshen IN

2015 Exhibitions
23rd Strictly Functional Pottery National. Lancaster, PA
Twin Cups National Ceramic Exhibition. MWSU. 2nd Place Cash Award
Michiana Pottery Tour. Goshen, IN

2014 Exhibitions
Biennial Cup Show. Morean Center for Clay. St. Petersburg, FL
22nd Strictly Functional Pottery National. Lancaster, PA
Tabletop Ceramics. The Art League Gallery. Alexandria, VA

PUBLICATIONS
Eric Botbyl. Have Pots Will Travel. 2018. Studio Potter. Winter/Spring Issue.
Eric Botbyl. Expectant Pitchers. June/July/August 2018. Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
Selected Concurrent Exhibition Images. Sights and Sound. NCECA Supplement/Ceramics
Monthly Magazine.
Exposure section, image. October 2018. Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
Eric Botbyl, Kelsey Nagy & Andrew Clark. Developing Voice & Vision: A Studio Internship
Model. 2018. Studio Potter. Summer/Fall Issue.

 


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