Ready to Serve: Heather Mae Erickson

Ready to Serve: Heather Mae Erickson

Tableware by Heather Mae Erickson

Tableware by Heather Mae Erickson. Photo: Mark LaFavor

Pure

Heather Mae Erickson first became interested in functional pottery as an undergrad at the University of the Artsin Philadelphia. In 2004, she received an MFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She’s now a visiting teaching artist at the University of Colorado Boulder.

What drives you to make functional work?
Ambiguity drives my work. I am interested in the lines between the known and the unknown. I like questions people ask – such as “What is it?” – because I can in turn ask them, “What do you think it is?” The feedback I receive excites me to continue new ideas and piques my curiosity about the rituals of dining and the questions of function.

How do you imagine the work being used? Do you have occasions in mind?
My pieces or settings in general are multi-purpose and open enough for casual and formal dining. In the case of Revolve [shown here], I wanted the set to be as basic and minimal as possible, to focus on the interaction and movement within the grouping.

What to you is an ideal gathering around a table?
I use dining and conversing over food as research for future projects. These moments become inspirations for future investigations. I enjoy the holidays with my family when we focus on the food more than the display, but also going to gourmet restaurants where the food as well as the wares are highly styled. The most ideal situation I can imagine would be where I get to use my work to entertain friends through the food I create and the composition of the wares on the table.

Do you consider yourself an artist, a potter, or both?
I consider myself to be a studio designer.

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