In both one-off items and production work, I am captivated by the union of craft, problem solving, ingenuity and creation when working with clay. And while ideas associated with op- positions and dichotomies has and continues to be a driving force in my work, I find that the subtleties and surprises of the creative process have the most influence on my work and continued growth as a maker.
In recent years, molds have become an important part of my studio practice, not just for the objects they yield, but because of the fine crafting, problem solving and creativity required to make them. Perhaps because of the three years I spent living and working in Jingdezhen, China, or simply because of my appreciation for craftsmanship, I often find as much beauty in a well crafted mold as I find in a finely crafted vessel. When made well, there is a heavenliness in the simple details and ingenuity of both objects. While the making of the molds is often a long and tedious process guided by specific parameters, it is during the casting process that I am able experiment with and respond to the clay.
— Dryden Wells
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Dryden Wells recently repatriated to he United States after having worked in China as a ceramic artist for close to seven years. He first moved to Jingdezhen, China, in 2008 to manage and oversee production of the Pottery Workshop (PWS) – Design Studio. The three years in Jingdezhen proved to be an invaluable experience, equipping him with a unique skill set and understanding of the ceramic process that he could not have acquired any other way. After a year (2011-12) of teaching Ceramics at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, Wells moved back to China to work at the PWS – Shanghai location. Here he had the opportunity to instruct weekly studio classes, occasional college courses, and to continue the development of his own creative work. Since returning to the US, he spent the first eight months in Red Lodge, Montana, teaching at Northwest College and developing new work. Recently accepting a full-time teaching position at the University of West Florida for the Fall of 2016, Wells will now be located in Pensacola, Florida.