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Vince Pitelka

Vince Pitelka

(n.d.) lives in Smithville
Oil Can #16, (n.d.)
soda fired, handmade stoneware clay with laminated colored clays,
11 x 15.5 x 10.5 inches, 2003.23.9

In this work, Pitelka created his interpretation of an oil can. The body and lid have a textured and painted basket weave pattern and the neck and spout are painted to resemble a tan, caned material. The handle is wooden, with a wire attachment. This piece was exhibited as part of the Governor’s 2003 Inaugural Exhibit in the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery.

Pitelka taught at University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University in Boston, North Dakota State University in Fargo, and for the past twenty-two years as Professor of Art and Head of the Clay Program at the Appalachian Center for Craft, a satellite campus of Tennessee Technological University in Middle Tennessee and part of their School of Art, Craft and Design.

I explore a range of vessel forms, drawing influence from architecture, industry, and utilitarian vessel tradition. Of particular interest are common vessels in clay, tin, and copper made before and during the Industrial Revolution, where simple expectations and parameters of utility always informed vessel design and aesthetics.  I have a particular interest in forms that pour, such as pitchers, teapots, ewers, and cruets.  – Pitelka

Find out more about Canopic Jar and Industrial Ruin Vessel #3 here.


Left: Canopic Jar, 2014, coil-built stoneware clay, wood ash glaze, soda fired to cone-10, stainless steel cable, copper swage sleeves, mixed media, gift of the artist Right: Industrial Ruin Vessel #3, 1996, slab-built earthenware, laminated colored clay patterns, black underglaze shading, clear glaze, oxidation-fired to cone-04, gift of the artist