Alexander Matisse

I grew up in a converted white clapboard church in the center of a small New England town in a family of artists.  

For three years, I apprenticed in the workshops of North Carolina potters Matt Jones and Mark Hewitt.  Their work combines traditions, from the Anglo-Oriental school of Leach, Hamada, and Cardew to the folk pottery of the south-eastern United States and many places between.   In their workshops I learned to love simple pots; adorned or bare, quiet and strong, they make their place comfortably in the home and speak to the thousands of years of pots before them, and all that is to come.

My work is made in a fusion of preindustrial country traditions in both process and material. It is fired in a large wood burning kiln and made of as many local materials as the chemistry will allow.

I believe in the beautiful object; that there are inescapable aesthetic truths, physical attributes, that remove time and place from the defining characteristics of the made object.  These objects can be viewed today or many years from now and be understood as beautiful.  Though their quotidian value may become antiquated, their aesthetics will save them.  I believe in making pots that carry this truth while, as Henry Glassie told me in passing one day, holding one hand to the past with the other outstretched to the future.

To see my everyday you can find me on Instagram, @eastforkpottery




1984  Born in Concord, MA

2005-2006 Studied with Charlie Tefft at Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina

2006-2008 Apprenticed with Matt Jones, Leicester, North Carolina

2008-2009  Apprenticed with Mark Hewitt, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Selected Exhibitions:

2011  (Solo) Year One, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville North Carolina

2011  Asheville In Atlanta, Mudfire Gallery, Decatur, Georgia

2012  (Solo) Ometto Project, Bascom Center for the Visual Arts,  Highlands, North Carolina

2012  (Solo) Encore, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, North Carolina

2012  Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

2012  American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2013 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

2013  (Solo) Alex Matisse: Work From The 10th Firing At East Fork Pottery,  Crimson Laurel Gallery,   Bakersville, NC

2013  Traditions in Transition, J. Fergeson Gallery, Farmville, VA

2013  A New Tradition: Mark Hewitt, Daniel Johnston, Matt Jones, Alex Matisse, and Joseph Sand, Frank Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC

2014  (Solo)  Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY