Shawn Spangler

Artist Statement

My work is focused on artistic authorship of ceramic vessels through object interpretation, transformation, and re-contextualization from a point of origin. Ceramic vessels have served as cultural indicators throughout time. We bestow these objects with the power to narrate our experience. They may guide us through stories of our past remaining as cultural signifiers to help us locate where we once were and where we are going.

There is no doubt that the destination for craft is evolving in concordance with technology. Ceramics responds and reflects; social, economic and technical demands of society from 20,000 years ago to today. I am fascinated with how technology, in constant transition, continues to shape the timeless tradition of producing ceramic work.


Shawn Spangler a native Pennsylvanian is a ceramic artist currently living and working in Hawaii. Spangler's work draws inspiration from craft, industrial design and digital technology. His installation projects raise questions concerning authorship and commoditization of objects, highlights the connections and margins between digital and analog processes of producing ceramic vessels. Spangler holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University then finished a residency at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia PA. He has shown internationally and has taught and offered workshops at numerous art centers, colleges and universities throughout the United States. Spangler was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University before currently serving as an Assistant Professor at The University of Hawaii Manoa. He is also one of the founding members of a co-op educational gallery site called Objective Clay.

His wheel thrown porcelain forms can be complex, yet clearly articulated, oftentimes created through the combination of multiple parts. The forms are reminiscent of both Koryo dynasty and Song dynasty, examples he observed as a resident artist in China in 2002. He states, ”My work is an amalgamated map of the world I reflect upon. Producing pottery is a kind of play; a regenerative act ripe with reverence, revealing the human hands enduring connection to creativity."


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