Errol Willett



Conceal/Reveal:  New Work from the Faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts


November 6, 2014 – January 18, 2015


Artist Statement


The ceramic basket series started in 2010. They were initially inspired by a Chinese grain basket that I found in an antique store nearby. The basket forms were also an excuse to go back and try to understand some primal vessel forms. The baskets are continuing to hold my interest and beginning to lead me to some new forms. While studying the baskets in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection and their relationship to early pottery, it occurred to me that within the crafts there have been winners and losers. In art school, while pottery persists, the hand-made basket has long left the building. What I like about baskets in general is how the interior and exterior are connected by the handle and how their structure is also their ornament. After doing a number of standard basket forms that were mostly about learning the form and finding the right volume and line, some new forms evolved. The one with four handles is called the Spider Basket (named by a former studio assistant) and the newest one I call the Peanut Basket.  The Spider basket is partially inspired by the granite millstones of the last century, once critical to the ceramic industry, now massive monuments to that generation’s sweat and ingenuity.