Mike Jabbur holds an M.F.A. (Ceramics, Ohio University), a B.A. (Graphic Design, Virginia Tech), and is currently Associate Professor of Art, Ceramics, and Department Chair, Art & Art History at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. His work highlights actions and events that enrich lives and encourage all-too-rare moments of reflection and celebration.
As a studio potter, my focus is on the relationship between handmade objects and their role in everyday life. I make objects for daily use in domestic settings, informed by my belief that interesting and beautiful functional objects help to transform otherwise routine activities into meaningful life-affirming moments. Although I exhibit my work in galleries, the gallery is an intermediary space between my studio and the home.
Utilitarian pots are to be touched, held, filled, emptied, cleaned, and shared. These attributes define and direct my practice. I hope to enhance our breaks in the day—modest endeavors such as afternoon coffee, conversation, and sharing in drink with friends. Yet my pottery also encourages all-too-rare moments of reflection and celebration.
As themes and styles emerge and fall away, or slowly evolve over many years, one seemingly Sisyphean goal remains central to my work: to make pots that feel timeless. I want to make work that appears intimately aware of ceramic history, without directly reflecting it. I avoid both distinct historical references and passing trends. While I am guided by canons of proportion, such as the golden ratio, I seek a balance between tension and resolve. Through this exploration of tension, characteristics emerge that range from austere to quirky, from monumental to diminutive. In any case, I am forever seeking the sublime.
My approach to making is driven by the gestalt principle. I am inspired by historical ceramic objects for serving food and drink, contemporary industrial design, the dignity of craft, the act of teaching, the human experience of shared meals, and the concept of morning coffee.