Ian M. Petrie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, 2013. He was selected for the Northern Clay Center’s Fogelberg Residency in 2013 and a Resident Artist at the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2016-2018. Ian has exhibited his work across the country, including the American Museum for Ceramic Art in 2017. Currently residing in Philadelphia, PA, Ian spends his time making pots when he is sick of the soul-crushing neatness of paper/ink, and drawing comics when he can no longer stand the sight of an endless barrage of dinnerware.
Born from the inherently black and white nature (in aesthetics and ethics) of the comics/manga universe, the surfaces of my pieces are used as utilitarian canvases to explore individuals' narratives. These stories, however, carry little fruition and as though the image is a single panel torn directly out of a comic book, the viewer must ponder and construct the rest of the story for themselves.
To this end, my work is made using very traditional comic/manga materials and processes. The illustrations are drawn with a crow-quill pen, shaded with an application of half-tones, and ultimately screenprinted by hand. My pots are all slabbed, coiled, pinched, and intentionally left loose, utilizing slip colors that reference paper and aged newsprint. And, just like the overall tone of my work, the illustrations show everything, blemishes and all. On some of my pieces, I utilize gold or silver luster to intentionally censor part of the drawing. Through abrasion, whether it is a few minutes of hard scrubbing or months of consistent use, the luster fades and eventually the entire image is revealed; but if one would like to preserve the beauty of the luster, they must content themselves with never knowing what it hides beneath.
By applying my narratives to functional pottery, I hope to encourage the user to examine a single moment from all angles. As time goes on and the piece sees habitual use, what initially may have seemed obvious slowly becomes uncertain and fuzzy. Suddenly one day, you come to understand and sympathize with the character you had always thought of as the "bad guy". After all, in the real world, everyone is their own protagonist hero. So the least we can do is try our best to understand each other.