As a studio potter, my focus is on the relationship between handmade objects and their role in everyday life. I make objects for daily use in domestic settings, informed by my belief that interesting and beautiful functional objects help to transform otherwise routine activities into meaningful life-affirming moments. Although I exhibit my work in galleries, the gallery is an intermediary between my studio and the home.
Utilitarian pots are to be touched, held, filled, emptied, cleaned, and shared. These attributes define and direct my practice. I hope to enhance our breaks in the day—modest endeavors such as afternoon coffee, conversation, and sharing in drink with friends. Yet my pottery also encourages all-too-rare moments of reflection and celebration.
As themes and styles emerge and fall away, or evolve over many years, one seemingly Sisyphean goal remains central to my work: to make pots that feel timeless. I want to make work that appears intimately aware of ceramic history, without directly reflecting it. I avoid both distinct historical references and passing trends. While I am guided by canons of proportion, I seek a balance between tension and resolve. Through this exploration of tension, characteristics emerge that range from austere to quirky, from monumental to diminutive. In any case, I am forever seeking the sublime.
My approach to making is driven by the gestalt principle. I am inspired by historical ceramic objects for serving food and drink, contemporary industrial design, the dignity of craft, the act of teaching, the human experience of shared meals, and the concept of morning coffee.
Mike Jabbur holds an M.F.A. in Ceramics from Ohio University, a B.A. in Graphic Design from Virginia Tech University, and is currently Associate Professor of Ceramics at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Within the context of functional pottery, his work explores human interaction and shared experience, highlighting actions and events that simultaneously enrich lives and encourage all-too-rare moments of reflection and celebration. Jabbur has shown in the United States and China, and currently exhibits in galleries around the country.