Waterstruck Slab No.2

Jonathan Mess

The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Environmental Artist Jonathan Mess Ceramic Waterstruck Slab No 2 Made in Maine USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Environmental Artist Jonathan Mess Ceramic Waterstruck Slab No 2 Made in Maine USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Environmental Artist Jonathan Mess Ceramic Waterstruck Slab No 2 Made in Maine USA
  • $800.00

This wall object is a perfect bridge into the realm of sculpture for someone who wishes to expand his or her art collection beyond 2D wall art. In essence, it is a 3D sculpture, layered and textured, designed to hang on the wall. It will never fade.

This work of art is created by ceramic artist Jonathan Mess, an avid fisherman who spends as much time as possible on the  water, whether on the nearby Damariscotta Lake or the rocky coast of the Pemaquid peninsula.

Mess has long given up buying new material to create his ceramic art, choosing instead to recycle discarded clays and glazes, of which there are endless quantities. Ceramic studios all over Maine welcome this artist’s resourceful scavenging.  

The source of much of his repurposed clay is Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, a place with a history that brings us back to the title of this Waterstruck Slab.  For much of the 19th century, the midcoast Maine community relied on vital income from the manufacturing of waterstruck brick, which earned its name because it was made from a wet mixture of clay and water.

A century later, through its work promoting ceramic arts, the Watershed Center continues to celebrate the heritage endowed by our local rivers, whose banks provide rich clay. Thus, the reclaimed clay work by Jonathan Mess is rich in history and meaning.

- Measures 11.5” x 15” x 1.5”
- Various reclaimed ceramic materials
- May require additional shipping

Jonathan Mess is a contemporary ceramic artist from midcoast Maine who allows his art to be driven by instinct and experimentation. The freedom in his process unifies his various series, which are energetic, ambitious, and Environmental Art.

Using reclaimed materials and unconventional techniques, Jonathan Mess has a unique style. His work is a vehicle for education, guiding viewers to consider waste, recycling, and purposeful art. He is also an educator of youth, teaching ceramic and sculpture courses at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Maine.

Mess has an MFA in Ceramics from The State University of New York at New Paltz and a BFA in Studio Art at University of Montana - Missoula. The artist's solo exhibitions and major awards date back to 1998, and his work is exhibited internationally.

In 2018, Portland Museum of Art in Maine included Mess’s sculptures in its Biennial exhibition. 2019 will host his work at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Biennial. The exhibit is a survey of contemporary art of New England showcasing compelling and ambitious art-making in the region.

From the artist: “I’m excited to have my work at The Good Supply because I see it as my local gallery, which cares about representing local artists. It means a lot to me that my friends and teaching colleagues and kids at the school where I work have the chance to see my work, whereas if I have a show in Boston, no one in my hometown sees it. The local connection and sense of community is a really important part of art-making for me.”

From the critics: “Mess is in a class by himself as a Maine contemporary artist. His ceramic sculptures are built up like sediments, and take on geological logic through their construction and firing processes. The slips, glazes and clays shift, expand and shrink at varying rates in a way that mirrors geological activity on a macro level. What we see are cross-sections of layers of dynamic color and form with organic activity defining them. They are fascinating and powerful objects.” - Daniel Kany, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

We are honored to work with both Jonathan and his wife Kate Mess, award-winning enamelist and jewelry artist. Their studio endeavors have been closely linked since they met in graduate school in 2006. Renowned in their respective disciplines for innovation in pushing material boundaries, both Kate and Jonathan credit Maine’s rugged coastline and nature as their primary inspiration.

A recent Good Supply art exhibition entitled Symbiosis explored the similarities and differences in Jonathan and Kate’s work. The way their practices intertwine opens a dialogue regarding the benefit of cross-medium influence and experimentation. The couple work out of studio spaces in their home, a renovated gambrel barn in Jefferson, Maine.

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