Dennison-at-Sunderland–Photo of mask “Icarus-with Crows.”

Ceramicist John Dennison will reveal the latest from his pottery series “Bowls Beyond Function” and more at the Sunderland Gallery with two scheduled openings, March 8, from 1-3 p.m. and a First Friday Opening, April 3 from 5-7 p.m.

Dennison describes the body of work as “a dysfunctional marriage of the functional and the nonfunctional” which includes dappled and furrowed dinnerware, teapots, casseroles, trays, and bowls. The exhibit also features thematic sculptural masks and large wall platters that explore current events, as well as myths, morals and aspirations.

“The marriage?”, he said. “Both aspects of this show represent a lot of glaze exploration and application. And, in some cases, it’s the same glaze being used, highlighting both its practical and the fanciful characteristics.

I run a one-man studio, designing, throwing, glazing, firing, and finishing each piece. Even though I rely on a functional shape, these bowls are, for all intents and purposes, sculptural in nature.”
Dennison’s masks and other sculptural works often reflect his love of literature, literary allusions, religious icons and elements of pop culture. Many of them, as well as is sculptural boxes, touch on similar themes. With the addition of iconic imagery, they have evolved into explorations of morality, race, music, modern media and other topics.

This exhibition continues at Sunderland Gallery until April 12. For more details and gallery hours go to

Leave a comment