Bryan Hopkins was born in Philadelphia, PA. He began West Chester University of PA as a mathematics major, and found the ceramics studio in his junior year. Bryan went on to earn an MFA in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has been studio potter working in porcelain since 1990 and has lived in Buffalo, NY, since 1995. Bryan’s personal research in the field of ceramics centers on the vessel - both utilitarian and sculptural.
Bryan teaches part time at Niagara County Community College. He has curated ceramics exhibitions both nationally and locally. Bryan’s work has been exhibited in group and solo shows nationally, including the NCECA Clay National Biennial (2005 & 2009), and his work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Studio Potter, 500 Vases, and Best of 500 Ceramics. Bryan is also a New York Foundation on the Arts Fellow in Craft.
Functional: Following in the lineage of “fine china” I produce objects for domestic service, adding my own sense of affect and defect. The work’s primary use is that of a utilitarian object, and all the pieces perform as they should – cups hold fluids, vases present flowers without leaking, etc.. I have been using porcelain for about 20 years now, and am drawn to its’ physical qualities (strength, fragility, color, translucence) as well as the implicit class association, cultural significance, and assumption of purity and worth.
Dysfunction: This work is part of an ongoing series of “pots about pots” I call the Dysfunction Series.
The archetypal function of the clay pot is that of a container for physical, tangible objects. My work is based on the premise that the clay vessel is capable of more than holding fruit, presenting flowers, or decorating a sideboard, and that there are additional functions of the vessel, such as containing the intangible (light, shadow, idea).