The food we eat is one of the most intimate choices we make in our daily lives. Over the past century the United States has experienced a significant shift in the way we produce and consume food. While bountiful, industrial agriculture and large-scale food production have brought a whole new dialogue about safety, sustainability and economy to the American table.
My choice, as an artist, to create contemporary tableware is a direct response to my relationship with food. For over a decade I have worked with clay to develop new solutions to one core question: How can the thoughtful design of handmade vessels encourage a reconnection to the food we eat? Over the years I have answered this question with varying levels of precision. I make work that ranges from utilitarian tableware to very specific presentation vessels, designed to use the natural beauty locally grown vegetables as a starting point for their own celebration.
Along with the reconnection to nature through food, the visual quality of my work also has an underlying common thread. Through form and surface, the pieces I create always harbor a distinct message of labor, process, and care. Much like the methodical practice of sprouting, transplanting, and growing organic food, the forms I make are created through the slow and deliberate act of forming the clay. My ceramic vessels reflect a sense of history and labor through their surfaces. Graphic patterns and line work are often broken and imperfect. Surface decoration is often raised and tactile. Slip application is often chipped and healed over. These imperfections purposefully mimic a surface worn from use. This aesthetic of age, when combined with a minimal and sophisticated form, presents the food in a way that brings the wisdom of old objects into the contemporary realm of food production and presentation. This pairing is a deliberate gesture to elevate both the food and the handmade ceramic vessel. This dedication to create vessels that collaborate with locally grown food exposes both the food and ceramic objects as beautiful fruits that only come from a significant amount of labor.
With my work I aim to promote an active cultural value shift: one that leans more heavily towards a natural, sustainable and locally produced food system. I believe that that there is genuine pleasure to be found in slowing down to reconnect to this ever-changing world that we live in. This reconnection to the true nature and physicality of our food lives has one core truth: quality over quantity. This is the same truth that exists for many people in the handmade pottery and sustainable food movement.
— Lindsay Rogers
Lindsay Rogers is a studio potter, educator and food enthusiast living in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. She received her BA with a concentration in printmaking from Sarah Lawrence College in 2001 and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida in 2013. Over the years, Lindsay has used her work as a ceramic artist to advocate for a more locally based, sustainable food system. She has participated in collaborations with other artists, local chefs and farmers, and her pottery, writing and words can be found in a range of publications from blogs to books and podcasts.