Sean O'Connell

Artist Statement

I believe in the beauty of handmade objects. I also value the constraints of working in clay. To that end, making pots is a deliberate attempt at slowing down, connecting to something deeper, and taking time to appreciate the pleasure of labor. I use pattern as a means of exploring the nature of abstraction and my forms focus on creating a space for those patterns within the context of utility. Many of the motifs I use are adapted or interpreted from textiles, paintings, and natural geometry. My formal vocabulary is culled from historic and contemporary ceramic art, design, and my own few novel additions. It is within these chosen limitations that I search for a sense of beauty and self-expression.

Artist Bio

Sean O’Connell is a studio potter and educator living in Red Lodge, MT. He is currently the Education & Communications Coordinator at the Red Lodge Clay Center. Sean has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Visiting Artist faculty member at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary, Alberta. He was a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation and the Salad Day’s Artist-in-Residence at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in 2009. In 2016, Sean was named one of six Emerging Artists at the annual NCECA conference in Kansas City. He earned his MFA from the School for American Crafts/RIT and his BFA at Kansas City Art Institute. Sean exhibits his work nationally, is a regular contributor to ceramic art publications, and conducts workshops throughout the US and Canada.