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Mark Derby

American, b. 1960

Untitled #34

8.75 x 15.5 x 10.25 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation with matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts

Untitled #34 is an oval lidded jar enriched by curved geometric forms attached to the side, imparting a sense of playful expansion to a simple functional structure. Mark Derby describes his work in this way: “My main concern is in creating enigmatic objects which are identified as pottery, but function in a more decorative and sculpturally engaging manner which forsakes the concept of utility in everyday use.” Untitled #34 is a result of press molding and slab building techniques, and has a green and orange matte glaze.

Derby was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1960. He studied at California State University and did a yearlong apprenticeship at John Glick’s ceramic studio in Michigan. He then began his studio career in Arizona and participated in several exhibitions. After moving to Louisiana, Derby dedicated himself to the handcrafted production of high-quality pottery and tiles, and in 2000 he opened Derby Pottery & Tile in New Orleans with his wife. Extremely interested in collecting architectural salvage, he makes Victorian reproduction tile with the idea of preserving historical patterns and colors. Derby has also taught at Tulane University.

Sara Eco Conti, PhD.

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