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Artist: S.C. Rolf

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As a potter, I make one of a kind functional objects that are meant to be used daily. The daily routine of life is often filled with beauty that is missed or passed over. I have made a study of making objects that fit ones hand and hopefully engage the users eye, head, and heart as well. My work celebrates the daily routine of eating, drinking, storing and pouring.

Beautiful objects have the power to trigger thoughts and emotions. Interesting and beautiful clay pots do this for me because they are made of mud, and mud leaves a trail and a record of the makers touch capturing his or her ideas at the moment of making. Pots additionally deal with containment. This containment relates to use, the body, volume, space and even containment of ideas as metaphor. 

My work employs the physical process of layering which describes a sense of growth of the pot, both inward and outward. The addition and subtraction of the material leave a record of time in the work. Layering of wet clay over leather-hard clay is similar to the transformation of a landscape, such as an eroding riverbed. As a maker of one-of-a-kind functional objects, I use the premise that I transmit feeling through the subtle touch in working. I feel that in order for the user to “get it” they must also touch the work. My hope is that my pots will be used frequently in the daily routine by those who bring them into their homes.


S.C. Rolf lives and works as a studio potter in River Falls, WI, creating one-of-a kind functional pots. He received his BS in Broad Area Arts form the University of Wisconsin - River Falls (1988), his BFA in Ceramics from Kansas City Art Institute (1992), and his MFA  in Ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (1994). Rolf was awarded an apprenticeship under master painter and wood engraver Wang Hui Ming (Amherst, MA, 1985). He is an invited lecturer and teacher at schools and workshops throughout the United States, and juror of regional ceramic shows and awards.

“I continually play with shape and surface within parameters set by the intended purpose of the pot. These parameters open a world of exploration for me. My pieces are not metaphors for landscape and feeling alone, but rather they are the landscape and they embody the feeling.”

Rolf has exhibited his work widely, including in 2019: “Handwork from America”, Tokyo, Japan; 2018: “Functional Ceramics”, Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH; 2017: “In A Now” Contemporary Function, Two person exhibition, Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark. “ A Culture of Pots” Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis MN. “Beautiful Vessels of Daily Life” solo exhibition, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI; 2016: “Beauty of Zen” Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; “Makers: The independents” Bredin-Lee Gallery, Kansas City MO; Yunomi invitational, AKAR Design Iowa City, IA; and “Apprentice-lines” Pawtucket Armory, Providence, RI. He has received a number of national and international awards, including: Third Prize, International
Museum of Dinnerware Design, “ Butter”; Select Prize at the Ulsan ( Korea) International Onggi Competition ( 2010, 2009) and Excellence in Clay (2005, 2004, 2003, 2001), at the Minnesota Crafts Festival.

Rolf’s work resides in noted private and museum collections, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Ulsan City Museum,  Museum of Contemporary Craft (Teaching Collection) , International Museum of Dinnerware Design, Minnesota History Center, as well as “numerous kitchen cupboards.” S.C. Rolf’s work has been included in magazines and books including: Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, “Mastering the Potter’s Wheel” by Ben Carter, “ What Make a Potter” by Janet Koplos, “500 Teapots” from Lark books, “In The Potter’s Kitchen” by Sumi von Dassow, and “American iPottery” by Kevin Hulch.

“My work reflects an ongoing search to unite my ideas with the generosity and the intimacy that the functional pot offers.”

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