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Barbara A. Diduk


Ewer Teapot

21.5 x 5 x 2.75 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Barbara Diduk’s Ewer Teapot and Cups might not be the most utilitarian set of vessels, but her work strikes a whimsical balance between traditional pottery and modernist sculpture. The stoneware forms, with a rich dark brown hue and satin surface texture, seem stretched and elongated to an almost comical degree. The cups are perfectly functional, while the teapot presents a funnel through which the water and tea are added, and a short, narrow spout for pouring. As a whole, the work speaks more to the formal principles of sculpture than to the ease of serving afternoon tea.

Born in Germany in 1951, Diduk ventured to the United States to study anthropology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she received a BA degree in 1973. She then spent two years in England, where she earned a diploma from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design before returning to the US to pursue an MFA from the University of Minnesota. While there, she was under the guidance of renowned American potter Warren MacKenzie, who fostered her fascination with traditional and regional forms of utilitarian pottery. She turned this passion into an active international practice as well as a career as an educator, teaching at universities in Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Shortly before her death, she retired from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, having developed a highly regarded studio art program notable for its emphasis on technical precision and uninhibited exploration.

Ayla Murray

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