Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Michelle Erickson

Michelle Erickson

Michelle Erickson is a graduate of The College of William and Mary with a B.F.A. in Fine and Performing Arts. In addition to her considerable contemporary ceramic work, Ms. Erickson has over twenty years experience in working with 17th- and 18th-century reproduction pottery.

Her exquisite recreations and contemporary pieces have won critical acclaim internationally and been featured in many national and international publications. As owner of Michelle Erickson Pottery, Inc., she reproduces ceramics from archeological and acquired collections for organizations such as Colonial Williamsburg, the National Park Service, Parks Canada, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Historic Deerfield. She has lectured and demonstrated her work widely for scholarly groups and institutions that include Williamsburg's Antiques Forum, Winterthur Collectors Circle, Sotheby's learning weekends, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the St Louis Museum of Art, the University of Wisconsin, the British Museum, the Potteries Museums at Stoke on Trent, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Smithsonian Corcoran Graduate Studies course lecture.

Examples of her contemporary work are in the collections of the Mint Museum of Craft and Design; The Museum of Art and Design, NY; The Peabody Essex; The Long Beach Museum of Art; the Milwaukee Art Museum; The Chipstone Foundation; The New-York Historical Society; the Potteries Museums, Stoke on Trent; Yale University Art Gallery; The Carnegie Museum of Art; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She has consulted on and designed ceramics for several major motion pictures such as The Patriot, The Time Machine, The New World and the recent HBO series John Adams. Also Ms. Erickson has co-authored a series of articles Illustrating her seminal work in the rediscovery of arcane ceramic techniques in the prestigious annual journal Ceramics in America edited by Robert Hunter and published by The Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee WI.

Ms. Erickson was commissioned by Jamestown 2007 to create an original artwork in clay as the official gift presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll during her historic visit to Jamestown May 4th 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first continuous English settlement America.
My work is based conceptually and physically on the history of ceramic objects and the role they play in the communication of social and political ideals. Examining the cultural legacy evidenced in historical ceramics during the advent of colonialism presents the opportunity to explore contemporary issues such as war, slavery, power, and class. My work is narrative in nature incorporating 25 years of research experience in rediscovering lost ceramic techniques. My extensive working knowledge of historical ceramic technology allows me to authentically recreate, through form, function, and design, icons of ceramic history in a contemporary context expanding the long tradition of ceramic objects as tools to instigate social and political change. My goal is to communicate ideas as well as document the extremity of the human condition. Ceramics act as inanimate witnesses to our cultural and social history. Whether used, broken and discarded as trash, or revered and treasured, ceramics shape our understanding of the past and provide an endless resource to re-examine the present in which issues of war, slavery, power, and survival continue to dominate the struggle for human rights and equality. As poignantly stated by Hilary Clinton: "Women's rights are human rights."

View Michelle Erickson's CV (PDF)

paradise lostmade in chinaFossil TeapotShell Pickle StandOctopus Junk TeapotFront and CenterpieceTimepeace

hampton, VA

18 North Mallory Street
hampton, VA 23663

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