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.
As an artist, my choice to focus on the creation of ceramic vessels 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 pottery 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 of locally grown vegetables as a starting point for their own celebration.
In addition to my desire to encourage a reconnection to both food and its production, the visual quality of my work also has an underlying common thread. The pieces I create always reflect a sense of history and labor through their form and surface. Graphic patterns and line work are often broken and imperfect. Surface decoration is often raised and tactile. Slip application is often layered, 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, brings the wisdom of old objects into the realm of contemporary dining and food presentation.
With each new body of work that I create, my aim is to promote an active cultural value shift: one that leans more heavily towards individual engagement with our systems food production as well as one that encourages a sustainable and ecologically responsible 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 east Tennessee. 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 artists, chefs, food photographers and farmers, and her pottery and words can be found in a range of publications from books to blogs, magazines and podcasts. She is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at East Tennessee State University.