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Forrest Lesch-Middleton

American, b. 1974

2006 16 x 6.5 x 6.25 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Forrest Lesch-Middelton is a potter, tile maker, and educator living and working in Petaluma, California. He discovered his love of pottery at the age of 14. According to a description in the New York Times in 2013, Lesch-Middelton makes ceramics that “look like the products of an ancient civilization whose people proudly insisted on being buried with their dishware.” Vessel showcases his invention of a technique he termed “volumetric image transfer,” where he transfers screen-printed patterns using iron oxide “ink” onto the surfaces of stoneware pots while they are still wet. Usually these are in cylinder form, with straight flat walls. Since they were thrown on the wheel, they require him to shape the vessels from the inside only, so as to not disturb the exterior pattern. In 2013 he began making architectural tiles, which have since been used in private homes, restaurants, hotels, and businesses throughout the world. In 2019 he published a book on the design, creation, and installation of custom tile.

Lesch-Middelton received a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1998, and an MFA from Utah State University in 2006. His body of work has brought great acclaim, including his being named Ceramic Artist of the Year in 2014 by Ceramics Monthly magazine. He was awarded a McKnight fellowship in 2016. Lesch-Middelton is the owner of FLM Ceramics and Tile, and Petaluma Pottery. He has taught and lectured extensively throughout the United States.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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