Mat Wheeler obtained his BFA from Northern Arizona University and his MFA from Indiana University. His practice is based primarily in making pottery. Working with persistent pottery forms seen throughout many cultures and times he incorporates formal abstractions that emphasize the anthropomorphic language used to describe pottery.
Mat is currently working as an adjunct faculty, ceramic technician and visiting artist at Eastern Tennessee State University. His current research is focused on porcelain, glaze, and reduction cooled soda firings.
My work takes inspiration from a wide range of sources including, archetypal pottery forms, moments within architecture, landscape, and qualities of the biological figure. Combining disparate moments from this well of information brings forth a sense of emergence. While working with the wheel I focus on two separate modes of creation, one dealing with utility the other dealing with the abstracted vessel. Having separation between these two creative endeavors gives me a sense of structure within my intuitive process. The focus of utility brings forth many different necessities of design where certain important qualities and relationships of use must be carefully considered. My aesthetic pursuits within the abstracted vessels purposefully deny a sense of utility. I elaborate on the anthropomorphic language often ascribed to pots (foot, belly, shoulder, lip) by exaggerating certain figurative effects. I display my pieces in groups to create a sense of interpersonal relationships producing a vector for empathetic interactions. Using atmospheric firings, the surfaces of my work actively engages and enhances my formal decisions, rewarding viewers who spend time to investigate the minutia held within.