Ursula Hargens is a ceramic artist and educator based in Minneapolis. She received an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University; an MA in Art & Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College; and studied ceramics at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. She is a three-time McKnight Artist Fellow and was named 2020 Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated. Ursula has been a teaching artist for many years and is co-founder and head of Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education, an advanced certificate program in ceramics developed in 2014 in partnership with Northern Clay Center.
My recent tableware is a departure from past decorative work in that it explores the fundamental building blocks of decoration–dots and lines. I enjoy the challenge of grouping and playing with this limited palette. As I work, I try to channel the quiet of early morning or evoke the spirit of a favorite historical pot. I love the way a few well-placed decorative marks or dots of color can completely transform the gesture of a piece.
I throw using red earthenware clay and brush surfaces with a creamy white slip. Forms are relaxed and functional. I hope my pots will be welcomed into homes and slide into daily use, forming a collaboration between maker and user.