Ryan McFall, Humble Pottery, functional pottery

Ryan McFall

About the Artist

  Ryan McFall, born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina is a potter concentrating primarily on functional ceramics. He was raised eating off of handmade pots, created by his future mentor David McDonald of Limberlost Pottery. Ryan didn’t realize his deep appreciation for pots until his third year in his undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, when he took his first clay class. McFall quickly realized that he discovered his purpose and passion with his hands in clay. Over the following years Ryan would create a studio of his own, complete an apprenticeship in Prescott, AZ, and begin teaching ceramics to budding potters.

Mingei is a Japanese term that is translated to “arts of the people.” This concept refers to “handmade items made for the daily use and enjoyment of others.” Mingei is the central focus of McFall’s work, while blending the lines between function and aesthetics. Ryan’s apprenticeship was focused on creating pottery that both functional and beautiful. This experience taught McFall the skills and knowledge needed to create functional ceramics. Once he learned the rules, he began to bend and break them. McFall’s work is a synthesis of utility and creativity, made from North Carolina stoneware. Each pot is crafted with attention to detail and functionality. “These pots were made with a part of my life, so they could be a part of yours,” states McFall.

“Nature is the most dynamic source of inspiration,” Ryan says. Some inspiration is direct and objective, and some comes much more subtly. “I can only hope to one day capture little fragments of nature in my work. My work is created through trance-like repetition, where small changes are made over time, like water on a rock.” One small change can inspire a whole new body of work. “Its an evolution,” states Ryan.