Alex Matisse

Alex Matisse @ East Fork Pottery

I grew up in a converted white clapboard church in the center of a small New England town to a family of artists and anthropologists. One side nurtured artistic creation, while the other explored, among other things, the function of art in society. My interest in clay is an intersection of these two sides, art and its function, both holy and humble.


My work is made in a fusion of preindustrial country traditions in both process and material. It is fired in a large wood burning kiln and made of as many local materials as the chemistry will allow, while still affording me the physical attributes necessary for my aesthetic decisions. I believe in the beautiful object; that there are inescapable aesthetic truths, physical attributes, that remove time and place from the defining characteristics of the made object. These objects can be viewed today or many years from now and be understood as beautiful. Though their quotidian value may become antiquated, their aesthetics will save them. I believe in making pots that carry this truth while, as Henry Glassie told me in passing one day, holding one hand to the past with the other outstretched to the future.


Alex founded East Fork Pottery in 2010 to create a shared workspace where skilled, like-minded craftspeople could make work in an artistically supportive and symbiotic environment. John Vigeland joined EFP in 2013. While they each maintain their own artistic vision, they share materials, vocabularies, aesthetic values and high standards of quality. Working side-by-side, they influence each other silently but profoundly. Though they pay due reverence to their centuries-old ceramic lineage, their work is adaptive to the ever changing, more interconnected vernacular of the present and future.


EDUCATION Studied with Charlie Teft, Guildford College, Greensboro, NC (2005-2006) Apprenticed with Matt Jones, Leicester, NC (2006-2008) Apprenticed with Mark Hewitt, Pittsboro, NC (2008-2009)

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Alex Matisse