Michael Simon’s ‘Pick of the kiln’

I spent 3 rapturous hours on Saturday soaking in the profound artistry of my fellow Athenian and former university instructor Michael Simon. Of course I was the first there the opening day of the exhibit (need you ask!), and had a delightful time chatting with fellow museum patrons and the staff. Local Pottery enthusiast Fred Bowling stopped by and we got a chance to talk for a bit. Turns out he only has 8 of Michael’s pots in his collection. You’ve just gotta be in the right place at the right time with the right flexibility in your bank account, I guess. I feel pretty lucky the stars aligned for me when they did! Or, I suppose, you have to know some generous fellow potter who enjoys spreading the wealth. I’ve given at least 4 of Michael’s pots away to friends over the years. I’m just happy they went to homes where they are appreciated!

Here’s a bit from the exhibit. Enjoy!

DSCN3475 DSCN3483 DSCN3484 DSCN3486 DSCN3498 DSCN3499 DSCN3506 DSCN3514 DSCN3515 DSCN3517 DSCN3518 DSCN3520 DSCN3530 DSCN3531

Quick update:

The show is at the Georgia Museum in Athens GA. It will be up through September 8th. An exhibit tour with Michael will be held on July 31st, and a group discussion moderated by Mark Shapiro will be held on August 25th.

Also, these are pots from Michaels’ private collection. They are the pots, beginning in 1978, that he reserved from each firing to document his work to himself. For any evolving artist this is an important idea. These are some of the pots from that practice, the picks of the kiln.

If you are in the neighborhood I hope you can make it!


Peace all!

Make beauty real!


About Carter Gillies

I am an active potter and sometime pottery instructor who is fascinated by the philosophical side of making pots, teaching these skills, and issues of the artistic life in general. I seem to have a lot to say on this blog, but I don't insist that I'm right. I'm always trying to figure stuff out, and part of that involves admitting that I am almost always wrong in important ways. If you are up for it, please help me out by steering my thoughts in new and interesting directions. I always appreciate the challenge of learning what other people think.
This entry was posted in Art, Beauty, Ceramics, Clay, Pottery. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Michael Simon’s ‘Pick of the kiln’

  1. Liz Crain says:

    Seriously and gloriously tasty work. Thanks for the photo essay!

  2. Jennifer Allen says:

    One of my all-time pottery heroes! Thanks so much for sharing…great to see the range of Michael’s work. Truly inspiring!

  3. Lori Buff says:

    I see another trip to Athens in my near future. Thanks for showing the pictures and piquing my interest.

  4. Scott Cooper says:

    So great! Thanks for documenting the show and sharing it. Hard to believe that I’m going to let this go by without attending, but Athens is just a bit too far away, I’m afraid.

    It’s interesting to see the pots in these groups, and I really like some of the angles you shot at; how they emphasize the way pots like the trays and off-round bowls sit in space. It’s too bad the pots all have to be under glass for the show — that row of triangular vases looks downright lonely! But I can imagine why they are… the usual tradeoffs of utilitarian pots shown in museums, I suppose.

    I have one MS pot in my collection, thanks to “some generous fellow potter”, and it’s a treasure.

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