Noah Riedel

Artist Website


I approach making pots through the context of design and engineering. Function is the guiding principal behind my work. My pots must perform well. Expressive elements shouldn’t subvert usability, and any decorations are meant to be subtle, secondary, supportive.

I see my role as a maker as important in its opposition to mass production that makes up most of what is out there. There are new ideas that haven’t been explored, and only can be by the craftsman whose motivations and limitations aren’t defined by mass-marketing viability. And so, my goal is to create pots that are, first and foremost, unique. I use local materials, which I collect and refine myself, and I try to highlight what is different about them. I formulate my own glazes and design my shapes.

My background and training are based in traditional methods of production, and my stylistic influences come mostly from designers in the organic-modern movement of product design, artists like Alvar Aalto and Charles and Ray Eames. The combination of these approaches, I hope, results in pots whose characteristics are an outgrowth of evolution. Pots can be expressive, they can convey deeper meanings and ideals, but it isn’t my goal as a maker to infuse my own work with these things. Instead, I want the expressiveness of my pots to reside in the economy of their forms, and not injection of superfluous decorative adornment. I believe beauty in nature comes from such simplicity. And so it can with pottery.