Ceramic as a medium has such an extensive history that it can be difficult to separate oneself from historic forms, surfaces, materials, and firing techniques and emerge with something fresh. Adam Gruetzmacher manages to create a soothing balance between subtly geometric elements in his forms paired with soft surfaces. The surfaces of his pots are decorated with simple geometric shapes that make reference to the clay forms they live on. These triangles, arrows, x’s, and lines are placed on imperfectly applied slip. The drips left by the slip reference the unpredictable natural of the material of clay. He gathers inspiration for his work from both the studio pottery movement and industrial processes.
Gruetzmacher explains his ceramic goals, “I hope that my work might be comfortably employed in one’s life; beautiful in it’s ability to accomplish a given task and agreeable enough to do it every day.”
Gruetzmacher’s attention to comfortable and beautiful utility results in simplification. He has achieved something that is often lacking in contemporary American pottery by eliminating highly decorated surfaces and overly complex forms. Gruetzmacher uses crisp lines to highlight his simple designs. While he references mass production and industrial design with his pots he simultaneously infuses the work with his touch by allowing imperfections to exist and showing finger marks and earthenware through the white slip.
Gruetzmacher lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota in his home studio.