Last summer I visited the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I walked all over the campus slipping into buildings where I probably shouldn't have been and taking photos. It's an incredible place. I especially loved the bronzes by Carl Milles and the campus designed by Eliel Saarinen. I even had a chance to visit Saarinen's home on campus which is a rare treat. I also visited their art museum which had a major retrospective of the designer Alexander Girard. I was a little overwhelmed at that point but when I went downstairs I found an exhibition that explored the "Finnish connection" between Cranbrook and Finland. Part of the exhibit featured the pots of the Finnish ceramic artist Maija Grotell. Maija was one of the most important potters of the 20th century and certainly one of its most important instructors. Among her more famous students from Cranbrook are Toshiko Takaezu, Richard DeVore, Howard Kottler and John Glick. Below are photos of her pots that were included in the exhibition. The descriptions are from museum labels.
I began potting in January of 2012. Because I'm so new to potting, I think I understand the challenges of beginning potters and hope this blog will be encouraging to them and a source of helpful information and comment. I hope you'll join the conversation!