Tags Posts tagged with "Hannah Niswonger"

Hannah Niswonger

A butter dish by Hannah Niswonger

For the month of March, the Reboli Center for Art & History in Stony Brook’s featured artisan is potter Hannah Niswonger.

Artist Hannah Niswonger

“Hannah Niswonger’s whimsical work is so striking, colorful, cheerful and unique, we’re thrilled to welcome her as the Reboli Center’s March Artisan. We’re sure everyone will be delighted by her creative mix of vibrant designs and realistic animal portraits in her pottery. They are so adorable and colorful that they make you feel so happy,” said Lois Reboli, president and a founder of The Reboli Center.

Niswonger fell in love with clay while in college at Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut, where she earned a BA in studio art.  Hannah received a MFA in ceramic sculpture from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. She is currently teaching at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and has taught courses in ceramics at Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, Hannah frequently teaches sculpture classes.  She gives workshops nationally, as well as exhibiting in galleries throughout the United States. Hannah also participates in juried craft shows, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art Show, the Smithsonian Craft Show and CraftBoston. A resident of Melrose, Massachusetts, she lives there with her husband, three children, one dog and two rabbits.

Plates designed by Hannah Niswonger

According to Hannah, “I build functional pots out of white stoneware. My tools are simple: a knife, a serrated metal rib, a sponge, a brush. All of my work is hand-built from slabs of clay. I love working with slabs like fabric; the pots are sewn together, scored along the edges, nipped and tucked together to make rounded forms from sheets of clay. Using a Chinese calligraphy brush, I paint bone dry pots with under-glaze stains, which act like an ink wash or watercolors on the absorbent surface of the clay. I scratch and carve into the drawings, adding and removing details. The pin tool is both pencil and eraser, adding white to the drawing. I use wax to create motifs that are reminiscent of printed patterns.”

In addition to creating functional pottery of plates, cups, bowls, teapots, serving pieces with images of animals, birds, and fish, Hannah also makes prints, drawings, sculpture and tile pieces. “I love developing new patterns and strategies for adding layers of image and color to clay. This has allowed me to bring printmaking into the ceramic studio. Pattern and color anchor my animals to the pots. They serve as frames, and backgrounds, so that the animals exist in their own narrow space around the pots,” added Hannah.

The Reboli Center is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook, and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707.