Matthew Schiemann is a second-generation potter that grew up watching and helping his dad create ceramic works. This early exposure taught Matt to appreciate the handmade object and eventually to choose the field of ceramics for himself. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics from Ashland University in 2005 and his Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2009.
While in graduate school, Matt worked as Harris Deller’s personal assistant and as a Teaching Assistant for the wheel throwing and industrial design courses. During this time, he began building his own body of work focused on functional pottery fired in atmospheric kilns.
After graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Matt was accepted as an artist in residence at the St. Petersburg Clay Company. Shortly after being accepted as A.I.R. Matt became an adjunct professor at Eckerd College for PEL program’s ceramics department. In October of 2010, Matt became co-owner/director of the St. Petersburg Clay Company. Matthew is now currently the manager for the St. Pete Clay Artist in Residence Program at the Morean Center for Clay and is an adjunct professor at St. Petersburg College.
Being a second-generation potter, my rural home was alive with handmade objects. This influenced both my growth as a person and as an artist. I envision my pottery in people’s homes, filling their cabinets, displayed out on dining room tables, and laying used and enjoyed at the bottom of a sink. The home represents a place for family and friends to gather and enjoy each other’s company. I want my pots to be a part of the conversations and stories that are shared during times of celebration as well as day to day happenings.
Landscape also plays a large role in my pottery. During my childhood and into my adult life, my free time was spent lazily strolling down a country road and camping in the forests of local state parks. The hills, mountains and rivers that I interact with when I am hiking or camping are the reference points for the forms of my pottery. I currently live on the gulf coast of Florida. This too has had a massive affect on my work. Soft waves, beach textures and dunes have all played a roll in striving for a quiet sense of color and texture on my pots.
It is the atmospheric kilns that I find most appropriate for creating the surfaces of my pots. It is important that the pots catch the flame and force it to flow through the crevices and around the body of the pot. I want my pots to catch the flame and be scarred by its’ movement. I imagine the flame moving through the kiln in much of the same manner a river would flow through a valley. I try to recreate the same feelings and emotions that I receive in nature and relive them in my work. My pottery allows me to experience personal memories and express emotions while still allowing the viewer to be able to relate to the forms and functions of the pieces.