Showcasing the Arts


Oct. 2012 Featured Artist: Matthew Gaddie

Matthew Gaddie In 2003, I was broken-hearted after leaving my first graduate school experience. I was forced to postpone my higher education due to a lack of funding. Thus, in 2004, The Meadows Pottery was born out of my desire to continue to work in clay. The initial incarnation was unimpressive. The entire studio was piled into the corner of a small two-car garage. The finish firings took place in a tiny soda kiln that was wheeled in and out of my garage by means of a cart.

By the following fall, I was juried into the Kentucky Crafted Program and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. This led to exhibiting in galleries, taking wholesale orders and selling my art at craft fairs. From my pottery sales, I have been able to fund a kiln shed, two large kilns, and a 1,400 square foot studio, gallery and bunkhouse. All of these facilities are located together on my parent's 315-acre farm called "The Meadows."

The land was purchased in 1864 by my stepfather's great-great grandfather. Moving from a subdivision onto this farm at the age of 9 had a profound impact on my life. I remember days of sitting under the oak on the hill near the barn and wondering what tales of yesterday this old tree retained in its branches? How would it describe the horse-drawn carriages that passed by on their way to Bardstown on what was then the Wilderness Trail? I would also think about my stepfather's loyalty to the farm and how intimate his relationship was with the land.

My work is primarily functional pottery, straight-forward in form and intent. Inside the frame of practicality is the struggle to communicate the underlying connection I see between simple and hard-working days of my youth and the life I want to live as a potter. The cyclical pattern of throwing, trimming, glazing and firing are comfortable for me. I am a farmed-raised laborer who has wonderful memories of planting, weeding and harvesting. In the age of quick marts, high-speed connections, fast food, one-stop shopping, I try to live my life slowly and with purpose. In a time of mass-produced uniformity, I try to create works that are unique, each piece having recorded its own tale of creation. Combined with the silent language between maker and user, pots can carve out their unique paths of connectivity. I feel the quality of my work is subtle and simple and takes time to appreciate.

It is my hope that everyone who uses handmade objects will slow down for just a moment to talk, to catch a glimpse of dark soils, to view large open skies and to connect.

Matthew Gaddie
The Meadows Pottery Studio and Gallery

Bardstown, Ky.



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