Reinventing the Classics at In Tandem Gallery

Ceramics by Clemo, Sherman and Stumbras.

In Tandem Gallery, in Bakersville, presents Reinventing the Classics: Modern Functional Ceramics Based on Historic Styles, on display through Monday, December 31. The exhibit includes the work of Mike Stumbras, Melanie Sherman and Blair Clemo, three contemporary potters exploring techniques and concepts based on different historical styles of ceramics.

“We are each making pointed contemporary social criticisms using language that has stood for something meaningful to past cultures,” says Clemo. “For example, the language of European Decorative Art, which is somewhere in all of our pieces, is not just fancy scrollwork for visual pleasure but a designation of social class.”

Clemo’s work references Art Deco style and uses concentric circles cut and shifted to create compositions. Undulations give the clay a soft but noticeable texture that disrupts the pattern and adds another layer of drama. Sherman’s ceramics are Rococo, yet modern, with extremely patterned, intricate and colorful surfaces. This is achieved through a multi-firing process with glazes, china paints, decals and lustres. Stumbras’ Baroque-inspired vessels include subtle flourishes and raised embellishments that create a sense of elegance and grandeur. He high-fires the pieces and uses slip trailing and water etching techniques, as well as a variety of glazing methods.

“Our works span a wide range of techniques, which allude both to traditional hand practices and to historical production ceramics,” says Stumbras. “A dedication to individual studio art is seen throughout the pieces in this exhibit.”

In Tandem Gallery is located at 20 North Mitchell Street, Bakersville. For more information, call the gallery at 828.688.6428 or visit

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