Brianna Shimer ( she/her/hers )

Artist Statement

Through the lens of functional pottery, I focus on the interaction of maker, object, and user within a domestic space. I create utilitarian objects with a balance of intuitive process and an emphasis on material exploration. I strive to blend expressions of the natural world and the human experience into functional ceramic wares. The evidence of the hand is a component of my aesthetic, whether it is an active mark on the surface to create a form or how the user interacts with the piece. 

 I build layers through a wet alteration process until I find a balance of integrity within structure and fluidity of form. The folds and alterations are inspired by organic symmetry. They highlight changes in form, moments of impression, and growth in nature. By utilizing multiple objects installed as a collection, I create a garden of abundance. These gardens of handmade functional wares are intended to be a bridge between botanical aesthetics and human design. I am constantly challenging myself to create timeless, effortless forms that balance durability and functionality. The interest in creating double-walled forms started as an idea of building layers and has become a solution for wall display. Craftspeople create objects for utility, viewers integrate them within their daily lives. I present work on the wall to emphasize the beauty and decorative side of storage while honoring the integrity of functionality in each object.

Handmade pots are meant to be used, they are activated from interaction with people and become decorative when in storage. The dinner table brings together people and conversation; a moment in time to spark memories. The dialogue that flows through the air is as effortless as the landscape of objects on the table. These ideas of interaction over a meal can nurture our personal lives and relationships with others, just as much as the food nourished our bodies. By creating functional objects, I am providing the opportunity for enrichment through the use of handmade utilitarian wares and the decorative spaces we live in.


Brianna Shimer is an artist who focuses on functional objects that are the intersection of the maker, user, and environment. Born in New Jersey, she received her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. After, she worked at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as a Studio Technician. Simultaneously, Brianna was the studio coordinator and instructor at Erie Clayspace. Brianna graduated from the University of North Texas in May 2022 with her MFA in ceramics. Currently, Brianna is working at the Sonoma Community Center as the studio coordinator and teaching artist along with continuing her studio practice.