Eric Rempe Biography
LOCATED: Hammonton, NJ
I first touched clay when I was in high school in Lancaster, PA. The potter's wheel allowed me to work with my hands in an incredibly direct way, and I liked the idea that my pots could become a part of someone else's life. For two years, my high school art teacher, Dick Ressel, challenged me with questions and projects. Because of his influence, I ended up pursuing BFA in ceramics at Penn State University under Chuck Aydlett, David Dontigny and Chris Staley. I received my MFA from San Diego State University where I studied under Richard Burkett and Joanne Hayakawa.
Eric Rempe Description
Eric Rempe Statement
I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is the area that attracted the Amish to settle and establish a farm-based community due to the rich soil. Each winter I would watch the earth lie dormant for months. In the springtime it was awakened for a new season of growth by teams of mule led plows turning under the winter-crusted soil. Flocks of birds would follow on the heels of the teams, feeding on the abundance of grubs and insects revealed by the plow blades. Watching this each spring and the growth that followed I became tied to the earth.
It only seemed natural that I found myself working in clay as I grew older. I work in clay because of the connection that it gives me to the earth. I am attracted to the connections that my finished work makes with other people. Making stong functional pieces that become a part of someone's life is an underlying motivation in my work. The potential shift in consciousness of the user is something that I find incredibly compelling. We live in an age where machines have replaced many of the handmade objects, which previously added richness to our lives, with objects devoid of meaning. I feel this shift occurs because something of who I am comes out in every pot, and I believe that many people want to connect with that. I am hopeful that my pieces impart some measure of additional significance to the daily rituals of eating, drinking, and using handmade objects.
Forms and images from the natural world draw me in each day as I walk around. I strive to see better each day so I can allow these things to seep into my work. Patterns on orchid flowers growing in my greenhouse are translated to the surfaces of my cups. Newly emerging bamboo shoots influence the swollen, patterned, geomentric forms that I make. I work in clay because it continually asks questions of me and how I live my life.