ARTISTS

In current show

David Ernster

American, b. 1963 Sioux City, IA, based in Newbury, NH

About David Ernster

David Ernster

Black Rain Plate 

2015-2020 

Stoneware

13 x 13 x 3 in

$400

David Ernster

Bloom 

2015-2020 

Stoneware

14 x 10 x 10 in

$750

David Ernster

Black Trumet vase

2015-2020 

Stoneware

h x W x d in

$900

David Ernster

Black Rain Spine 

2015-2020 

Stoneware

12 x 11 x11 in

$450

David Ernster

Form 

2015-2020 

Stoneware, wood fired

9.5 x 10.5 x 3.5 in

$375

David Ernster

Vase Form 

2015-2020 

Stoneware, wood fired

10 x 4 x 3 in

$245

David Ernster

Vase form 

2015-2020 

Stoneware, wood fired

8 x 5 x 3 in

$245

David Ernster

Structure 

2015-2020 

Stoneware

18 x 11 x 5 in

$675

David Ernster

Vulcan 

2015-2020 

Stoneware, soda fired

10 x 7 x 4.5 in

$345

David Ernster

Core 

2015-2020 

Steel, Raku Fired

17 x 8 x 9 in

$1,100

David Ernster

Sunday Afternoon

2015-2020

Stoneware

8.5 x 23 x 23 in

$750

David Ernster

Organic Vase Form

2015-2020 

Stoneware

19 x 8 x 8 in

$1,100

Biography


David Ernster is a multidisciplinary artist and educator, currently working in Newbury, New Hampshire, with a focus on sculpture and vessels using both ceramic and metal as materials and inspiration. Drawn to the malleable nature of the materials and the almost alchemical processes employed to manage their states and form, and interested in vessels and the ideas of containment, protection, and the mystery they evoke, Ernster asserts “Fire, water, and air in their most basic forms have the power to change our world.” Ernster has, over time, gravitated towards ceramics. To the artist, it is the most basic material: clay. This may be found almost anywhere on the earth, and used not only to make virtually anything, but also to create the kilns to fire it in. 


David Ernster spent his childhood on the banks of the Mississippi River in the upper Midwest. The Mississippi River is an unbelievable engine for change and renewal while at the same time remaining dark and mysterious. It is a world in continuous flux. In this way, Ernster came to a life in the arts in a rather naive way, and not necessarily as a conscious decision on the artist’s part. Seeing this daily metamorphosis of The Mississippi River had a formative effect on the artist’s interests. As a child, Ernster spent time casting lead into small molds he made of skulls and dragons—bringing to life the worlds imagined from fossils collected. 


Ernster studied metalsmithing at the University of Iowa as an undergraduate, receiving a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry with a continued focus on sculpture using cast metal and ceramics. The artist received an MFA in Ceramics from West Virginia University and since 1989 has worked professionally as a production potter, goldsmith and designer, independent studio artist, and educator. Ernster continues to work in all of these disciplines, now including visiting Professor of Art at Colby-Sawyer College.



Artist's Statement


I have always been interested in vessels and the ideas of containment, protection, and the mystery they evoke. Vessels possess the quality of containing almost infinite possibilities: stories, dreams, passions, nightmares, all kept safe within, if only metaphorically.


I think that is why I have found myself drawn to mediums traditionally used for making vessels, specifically clay and metal. These materials also have an almost alchemical aspect to them as they change states and form under the influence of fire during the processes of forming and finishing. To me these materials of clay and metal are basic elements that seem to have an almost infinite permanence in nature as well as a persistent presence in our history.


Fire, water, and air in their most basic forms have the power to change our world. I think I gravitated towards ceramics because to me in many ways it is the most basic. You can find the materials—clay—almost anywhere on the earth and use them not only to make virtually anything but also to create the kilns to fire it in.


As a child I was enthralled with the fossils and crystal formations I would find in rocks on the banks of the river.

Holding these things in my hands beckoned me to imagine the world as it may have been, or might be.

I think that in the work I am doing in clay and metal I am exploring interpretations of the possibilities that I have imagined. The vessels and sculptural pieces are fragments or artifacts that I hope can serve to open the vessels of your imagination.


Teaching, not unlike how I have come to work as an artist, was something that evolved organically and simultaneously within my pursuits as an artist. Since my teaching assistantship as a grad student in the late 80s, I have continued to teach in one form or another through craftsmen’s guilds and apprentices in both clay and metal. For many years now my teaching has been as visiting Professor of Art at Colby-Sawyer College. I find that teaching has allowed me the freedom to explore my own work while benefiting from the creative and intellectual stimulation of my students.


I have recently built new kilns at my home studio to accommodate the scale character of my new work. I am excited by the fact that my work in metal and clay are coming back together again as they have done in the past. While I don’t think that my work has necessarily changed in a substantive way throughout the years I do feel that I am gaining more clarity from a personal standpoint about how I choose to express myself. This is very exciting and I am feeling the “pull” of the work as much as ever.



Statement about works in A CHANGING FORM Fine Art Ceramics


I have always considered myself a sculptor. When I sit down to work in clay, even if I am making functional pottery I am concerned foremost with form. Functional concerns and form are in many ways very closely tied. Lately, I have been more concerned with the impact of form and color in my work and pushing more towards the sculptural aspects of three-dimensional objects. These most recent works are explorations that move towards pure sculpture as well as attempting to challenge the boundaries of function. 

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Canal Street Art Gallery

23 Canal Street, Town of Rockingham, Bellows Falls, Vermont

Open Wednesday ~ Saturday 11am - 5pm 

Winter Break is February 2 - 11

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