Gorgeous, expertly formed works from Minneapolis ceramist Ernest Miller attest to his motto: “I like clay. A lot.” His passion for the material leads the artist and instructor to create both his signature crystalline-glazed porcelain vessels and plates and the utilitarian stoneware made as teaching examples.
In 1998, Ernest earned his BA at Eastern Illinois University. “In the ceramics studio,” he recalls, “I had the opportunity to work with stoneware and porcelain, and to finish with raku firing, soda/salt firing, wood firing, reduction firing, and crystalline glazing. During this time, I was able to express myself prolifically and the love of clay became unmistakably evident.” Ernest worked as a potter in Champaign, IL before moving to Minneapolis in 2000 to establish a studio and a busy exhibition and teaching schedule.
“As a vessel maker,” the artist states, “I use porcelain clay to create bottles, plates and bowls that serve both utilitarian and decorative purposes. The cohesion of the glaze and vessel are a continual pursuit exercised through glaze alchemy and the investigation of ceramic form. Inspiration is drawn from everyday objects, architecture, and landscape along with the fascination of the creative process, focused work, and trusting the practiced hand and eye.
Most of my work is made with porcelain clay that is mixed and pugged in studio. The pieces usually begin on the potter’s wheel and later hand altered and trimmed. Once dried and bisque fired they are coated with glaze and finish fired to 2,250 degrees Fahrenheit.”