Gas-fired ceramic with salt and soda, amber celadon glaze, porcelain
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Jim McDowell (American).
“The story I’m telling, it’s that enslaved people came here, and they survived and thrived when every hand was stacked against them. I’m speaking for those who are marginalized, for those who were brought here in chains, and those who were never given an opportunity.” —Jim McDowell
North Carolina-based Jim McDowell, known to many simply as “the Black Potter,” is a ceramicist who specializes in stoneware face jugs. Through his work, he honors the origin of these culturally rich vessels and reflects on “living while Black” in America to call out racism and injustice endemic to the US. At 75 years old, McDowell says he is busier than ever.
Unique to this vessel are the wings that spring from behind the jug’s ears. They are thick and rendered in the same clay as the body of the jug, scored with teardrops and soft stripes — somewhere between an angel’s wings and an animal’s. “They are flexing to fly,” Jim says. “If escaped slaves could not be found, the others would say that Jesus gave them wings to fly away.”
Direct from the artist
This work is in overall excellent condition.