Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Untitled Ceramic Facepot #28
low fire clay and glaze

Untitled Ceramic Facepot #24
16 x 13 inches
low fire clay and glaze with gold luster

Untitled Ceramic Facepot #5
low fire clay and glaze


The following is excerpted from an interview Dan McCarthy gave to Christopher Schreck:


How long have you been working with ceramics?


32 years with a 25 year break in the middle.


What kind of training do you have?


Basic college level intro stuff.


What attracts you to the medium? How is it different from/similar to painting or drawing?


It's three dimensional for starters... The three dimensional aspect is interesting and unusual for me within the realm of my paintings; for instance I usually never render the back of a head in a painting or drawing. The kiln and its extreme temperatures during the firing stage is a big piece of the process; obviously that's a "hands off" part. It's quite alchemical and has elements that feel magical during this transformative part of the process.


Can you describe your process?


Conjuring immediacy, staying focused and present.


Low fire, low tech, simple and direct.


Do you have a result in mind when you begin working?


Maintaining and channeling the immediacy and spirit that I want the work to possess and carry forth with.


Why faces?


It's an obvious starting point to express elements that are important to me in my work: emotion, attitude and humor. I wanted to work quickly with the clay, arriving at a finished form with a minimum of negotiation within the material itself. Starting and ending with faces seemed like a natural window to open.—C.S. and D.M.