Ben Carter


Ben Carter is a studio potter, workshop leader, and social media enthusiast based in Santa Cruz, CA. He received his BFA in ceramics/painting from Appalachian State University, and his MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida. His professional experience includes being an artist-in-residence at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Art in Asheville, NC, as well as Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO, the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, and the Ceramic Research Center Guldagergaard in Skelskor, Denmark.

From 2010-2012 he served as the Education Director of the Pottery Workshop in Shanghai, China. He has lectured and presented workshops at universities and craft centers in the United States, China, Australia, and New Zealand. He has exhibited internationally in numerous invitational and juried shows.

Artist Statement

After extensive travel in Asia and Europe my research has shifted towards establishing an aesthetic representative of my American cultural heritage. Earthenware clay is stretched into functional forms that have convex bulges to reference pillows and tufted furniture. This overfilled aesthetic is a visual metaphor for the casual graciousness of southern hospitality.
Decorative motifs like the white picket fence, a quintessential symbol of the domestic, establish a cultural context that draws from Americana. The accompanying floral patterns of Dogwood and Honeysuckle are power symbols representing growth and prosperity. These native Virginian flowers are drawn in a sgraffito style relating to the informal nature of Appalachian folk art. Verdant flowers captured in decorative form bring nature into the home satisfying a primal need to connect with our surrounding landscape.

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