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Artist: Seth Payne

Artist: Seth Payne
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I make unusual objects for the living of everyday life: plates that hang on the wall like a series of minimalist paintings, bowls that nest in a sculptural tower and funerary urns that feel like contemporary artifacts. I am making things because our culture has too many of them. In my work I am wondering about our insatiable desire to consume, and attempting to make consumable things that suggest a more satisfying relationship between the object and its user. I believe the human instinct toward materialism is the natural urge for a tangible expression of our emotional and spiritual connection to the physical world. Mass consumption is a misguided pursuit of that need because it relies on the objects value to degrade rather than improve through experience. My work attempts to elevate practical things and their use and suggest a heightened awareness of our relationship with them, a relationship that builds meaning over time. I am interested in the reflection of ourselves we find in the objects we use, and the power of this connection to shape rituals and traditions. Like architecture; focusing on materials, form, spatial relationships and a considered desire to rethink use I hope to invent objects that elevate an everyday act.

2007-2009 New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Masters of Fine Arts Ceramics

2001-2002 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Post-Baccalaureate Ceramics

2000-2001 Maine College of Art Portland, Post-Baccalaureate Ceramics

1998-2000 University of Louisville, BA Literature

2007 Watershed Center For Ceramic Arts: designed & produced 500 plates as Salad Days Resident

2006 Archie Bray Foundation summer resident

2014-17 Small Business Owner: Studio Pottery, Design, Woodworking, and
Homebuilding, Pittsburgh, PA

2013 Teaching (Adjunct) Ceramic Sculpture Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Flight School Professional Development Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA

2011-2012 Independent designer & contractor: interiors, custom carpentry, Pittsburgh, PA

2011 Guest Critic/Technical Advisor Fine Art BFA, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Teaching mold-making course Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA

2009 Visiting artist workshop & lecture on mold-making, University of Louisville, KY

2008 Teaching assistant Junior Pottery, Glaze Calculation, Summer School NYSCC Alfred, NY

2007 Teaching community ceramics classes throughout Maine for Watershed’s Mudmobile program, ME

2006 Assistant Archie Bray International Ceramics Conference, MT

2002-2006 Studio technician at Eastern Kentucky University

Teacher community ceramic art classes Eastern Kentucky University

Built custom houses with Prajna Design including Bernheim Forest Visitor Center/Arboretum, KY

Studio assistant at Haystack Mountain School, ME

Visiting artist at Lincoln Community College, Springfield, IL

Studio assistant at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, TN


2008 NCECA Student Exhibition Purchase Award

2007 Strictly Functional Pottery National Best of Show

National Wood Fire Show Best of Show

NCECA Clay National Biennial Trax Gallery Functional Pot Award

2006 Woodford Reserve Fellowship Grant to attend Archie Bray Residency

Schein-Joseph Ceramic Museum, Alfred, NY

Archie Bray Foundation Permanent Collection, Helena, MT

Pots on the Go – Seth Payne’s Nomadic Dinnerware Ceramics Monthly Vol. 56 Issue 1 January 2008

500 Plates, Lark Books

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