Clary Illian, a ceramist from Ely, Iowa will be highlighted in an upcoming episode of, “Craft in America.”
The Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series dedicated to exploring America’s rich craft history, presents Episode Nine, with Craft in America: Crossroads, to air on PBS primetime, Friday, November 16, 2012 at 9pm in most cities. (Iowa Public Television will broadcast on Wednesday, November 28 at 9pm (CT))
“Crossroads” follows the evolution of American craft in its drive toward exploration, experimentation and innovation; a move toward new forms and creative solutions. Through the work of Tanya Aguiñiga, 3 Midwestern clay artists, and Lia Cook we explore their trailblazing attempts to cross-pollinate culture, aesthetics and technologies – moving forward the development of American craft.
The Hamada-Leach ceramic tradition is centered in a community of potters in the Midwest, whose work is based on traditional wares for everyday use, known in Japan as “Mingei”. The Mingei Philosophy, as taught by Shoji Hamada, was brought to England by Bernard Leach in the 1920s. Imported to America in the 1960s, this aesthetic widely influenced the emerging counter-culture and as a result, modern design today. Potters from all over the world apprenticed at the Leach Pottery and carried their newly-acquired aesthetics back home. In the US, three ceramists, including Clary Illian from Ely, Iowa, were central to this aesthetic cross-pollination – the concept that everyday handmade objects are honest, inexpensive and functional, and by this virtue, fill one’s life with beauty.