Ready to Serve: Joseph Pintz

Ready to Serve: Joseph Pintz

Tableware by Joseph Pintz

Tableware by Joseph Pintz. Photo: Mark LaFavor


Joseph Pintz started making pots in college, nearly 20 years ago, while studying anthropology. His material of choice is a clay usually used to make bricks, giving his work a real sense of weight, with an industrial edge. In September, Pintz took a leave from his position as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri for a yearlong residency in Roswell, New Mexico.

What drives you to make your work?
I am drawn to making functional pottery because of its close relationship with food. Even in our fast-paced culture, tableware continues to play an important role in life’s daily rituals.

What do you think is unique about what you make?
I make straightforward vessels that are handbuilt from coarse, red brick clay. The unadorned forms allow the food to be the highlight.

How do you imagine your work being used? Do you have particular occasions in mind as you work?
I make work for everyday use. My pots have a stubborn physicality; their mass forces the user to slow down and pay closer attention to the moment.

What, to you, is an ideal gathering around a table?
My ideal gathering around the table includes friends, family, homemade food, and handmade pottery. The food would be simple and lovingly made, featuring fresh, local produce that captures the essence of the season.

Do you consider yourself an artist, a potter, or both?
I consider myself foremost a maker, which for me includes being both a craftsperson and an artist. I approach both my functional dinnerware and sculptural objects from the same caring, critical perspective.

Read the rest of our ceramic tableware feature.