spectra (ˈspɛktrə)


the plural of spectrum

Spectra: A Survey of American Contemporary Wood Fired Ceramics explores a broad spectrum of both form and surface currently being produced by a select group of contemporary artists in the United States. The artists in the exhibition use a broad range of forming techniques including both hand built and wheel thrown work and encompass utilitarian pottery and sculptural works. Foremost, the theme of Spectra is explored on the surface - works span all temperature ranges from low-fired earthenware to high fire stoneware and porcelain.


Wood fired ceramics have been developed and refined over multiple continents for thousands of years. In the U.S., our history is much shorter. The wood firing tradition in North America has been traced back to the Woodland Indians and Puebloan cultures and continued on into the southern Appalachian tradition, today it is arguably entering the time of its greatest transformation to date. 


Once the only means to vitrify clay, today wood firing is a deliberate choice. A choice made by artists who’s aim is to produce surfaces only possible through this ancient process. The wood fired surface asks the viewer to let go of expectations and to contemplate longer, revealing itself slowing through intimacy over time.

Seth Charles is a  lecturer of ceramics and sculpture at State College of Florida and a studio artist in St. Petersburg, Florida. He holds a BFA from The University of North Florida and a MFA degree from Central Washington University. He has lectured and led workshops around the country. Seth's work has been shown in numerous national and international exhibitions and is held in public and private collections. He has been a long term artist in resident at The Clay Studio of Missoula and Morean Center for Clay. If you would like to learn more about Seth Charles, click on the button below for more information.

Curatorial Statement

About the Curator

© 2017 by  Seth Charles.

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