Mystery Pot 39 Maker, Stanley Mace Andersen
“This technique provides a wide range of bright, sharp colors. More importantly, I feel the majolica technique best allows me to convey the kind of attitude or feeling I want my pottery to invoke – that is one of lightheartedness.”
Stanley Mace Andersen’s functional earthenware tableware certainly achieves his goal. The exuberance of his flowing brushstrokes creates a rush of good feelings, like a walk through a meadow on a perfect summer day. Indeed, he lists pastures, meadows, gardens, and woodlands as sources of inspiration.
The majolica technique, that Stanley Andersen is a master of, traces its origin’s to the Italian island of Majorca in the 15th century. Stains, oxides, or colored glazes are painted over an unfired light or white background glaze, traditionally on earthenware clay.
Raised on a farm in Iowa, Stan worked as a farmhand and in cross-country pipeline construction after high school before deciding to head off to the University of Iowa. There he received his B.A. in Philosophy and Sociology, as well as a Masters of Library Science. An MFA in Ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design in 1978 followed by an Artist-in-Residency at Penland School of Craft, set him firmly on his path as a studio potter.
Stan and his wife, Karen, found a mountaintop farm in Bakersville, North Carolina in 1983. There, surrounded by fields, meadows, and woods, Stanley Andersen has made a life making pots. Over the decades he has sold his wares wholesale, at craft fairs, in galleries, and directly from his studio. The latter is Stanley’s preferred method of selling. He loves the interaction with his customers and the ability to explain process and techniques. Some of his customers are second-generation collectors!
In the interest of expanding his market, Stan has joined TRAC, Toe River Arts Council’s semi-annual studio tour, and Potters of the Roan. He also has helped organize Spruce Pine Potters Market, an October weekend show.
"I’m sure there are more efficient ways of being a studio potter, but my 'potter’s lifestyle' has meant working seven days a week most weeks, vacationing rarely, and living modestly. My advice to young potters: If that doesn’t sound too daunting, go for it."