The only thing that can make beautiful, intricate pottery better is the rare ability of functionally. The current exhibit “Hot Fresh Glazed,” featured at the Ann Arbor Art Center, is centered around pieces of pottery that serve a practical purpose. World renowned artist Nawal Motawi of Motawi Tileworks is the juror of the event. A University alum, her recognizable tiles are sold internationally in over 300 shops and galleries. For this exhibition, she invited artists from across the country to submit their work. It is “more than just a cup show,” according to the Ann Arbor Art Center. Pieces range from ceramic cups, confetti mugs, bubble glazed works, vases, plates and various shaped pottery. Below are 10 of the pieces featured, though many creative pieces within the exhibit are not listed.

1. Sand Box Teapot by Carol Wedemeyer $450 (sold)

This fine piece was named “The Best in Show.” Of all the pieces in the gallery, this one holds the greatest prestige. The shape is extremely unique and likely quite difficult to make with ceramic materials. The tea pot might remind one of an animal, such as an anteater. Whoever already purchased this piece will surely enjoy making tea with this distinct pot.

2. Snowflake Bowls by Nancy Bulkey $180

With Christmas right around the corner, these plates emit holly and jolly feelings. The way the snowflakes are off center creates a compelling canvas. The design is fairly simple, but that is the beauty of snowflakes –– they appeal to the eye without much effort.

3. Spiral Vessels by Michael Foerster $75

Imagine the intimidation factor involved with serving these cups to one’s guests. The randomness of the golden spikes around the cups is fun, intriguing and just plain quirky. It brings variety and amusement to one’s typical drinking experience.

4.Wood Fired Stoneware by Marc McCay (price range)

Compared to the other pieces in the gallery, these stoneware pieces do not seem as magnificent. Yet, they play to a different appeal other than beauty. Only in person can one really see the earthy texture it possesses: The colors are subtle, but they do blend and change and meld together. It reminds one of the Stone Age period, which has a certain charm to it.

5.Wine Rocker Sea Vessel by Carol Wedemeyer $3300

Also by Wedemeyer, the Sea Vessel received 2nd place in the gallery. No surprise there, as the intricate design of the waves is mesmerizing. The grain of the surface almost gives it the appearance of motion. Of course, one has to acknowledge the endearing, little whale tale at the end of the handle of the ladle. Though claiming functionality, it might be wise to leave this piece unused and up high for all to see.

6. Untitled by Brian Caponi $1000

These two black circles hanging on the gallery wall were the least impressive in the entire exhibit. The meaning and purpose of them were not obvious. It is also the absence of color, shape and creativity which makes them dull. It’s seems unlikely that anyone will pay $1000 for this pair. It does, however, make the other pieces stand out even more.

7. Woven Coil Pitcher by Carol Wedemeyer $8,000

Another Wedemeyer piece, and the largest ceramic feat within the gallery, this pitcher won an Honorable mention for its imposing stature. While interesting, the color is somewhat lackluster. In addition, it does not seem very functional in comparison to other pieces. At the most expensive price of $8,000, it’s likely very heavy and burdensome to lift.

8. Rose Pitcher by Genevieve VanZandt $120

This beautiful ceramic pitcher has a certain vintage, “Beauty and the Beast” type of look. It’s simple yet elegant where the blend of colors is stunningly executed. It’s the pitcher that a really chic grandmother might have, one that all the grandkids want to inherit.

9. 4pc Round Place Setting, Black Stripes- Red Accents by Kristine Cravens $225

While a pretty collection, the color scheme and shape of the pottery resembles something one might find at Target or Macy’s. It lacks originality and does not seem suited to its expensive asking price.  

10. Dimple Cups by Lynne Tan $32

These cups are so absolutely adorable. Not only are they within a college budget, these cups also have a style that is unique and comforting. The colors are soft: a beautiful turquoise on the outside offset by a dulled orange on the inside. A hand would fit perfectly into those darling dimples. An ideal Christmas gift for a friend or for oneself.

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