NCECA Demo Artist

Asheville, NC
Ceramic Artist
​Active since 1988

You’ve come to NCECA to upgrade your skills. Now talk with Curated Ceramics about upgrading your representation.

Current convention for galleries is to launch a website with pictures and a shopping cart and call that representation. Nothing could be further from the spirit of representation than thousands of pots and barely a trace of info about their creators. It’s a lazy, soulless approach and artists deserve better.

True representation means pairing object with narrative: The stories of your process, work and career that make owning your work special. This approach of presenting artist and work together builds value and begins a lasting connection with the collector.

Curated Ceramics has built that artist platform from scratch. Look around this sample artist page and you’ll find info (from current artists) that shows what true representation—your representation—could look like. Artist statements, interviews, portfolio pics, studio visit pics, process video, artist marks, and of course, commerce.

Now with the arrival of NCECA in Minneapolis, for the first time Curated Ceramics is seeking to represent artists from other regions of the country. Artists who make great work and demand a lot more from their representatives than pics and a digital shopping cart.

Might this be you? Then call or email Steve Basile at Curated Ceramics and (612) 719-9632

And if you’ve been to town but missed Curated Ceramics’ exhibition Finding the Authentic Self, then visit that page on our site to see just how thoughtful and rich the presentation of ceramic art could be. It’s what we do and there’s nothing out there like it.

We’re Curated Ceramics. Let us tell your story.

I am interested in exploring concepts of utility through the creation of functional pottery. The idea of experiential aesthetics serves as the basis on which I evaluate my practice. The amount of use that an object gets can be determined by the fulfillment we gain through using it. A tool that does not perform well, aesthetically please the user, or create a meaningful experience is easily forgotten or ignored. With these principles in mind, I use the process of self-editing in order to clarify my ideas and better define my values as a maker. A tool is only as good as it works, and can only be improved upon- aesthetically or otherwise- thereafter. As such I try to reference forms that are distilled and visually objective, aspiring to place the work closer to its root as a functioning tool. I embellish the surface of my work minimally with the goal of emphasizing the object’s architecture, facilitating an unobtrusive relationship with the space around it. This work represents my concepts and questions having to do with utility and tradition, understood through the process of design, and realized though the medium of pottery.

Curated Ceramics visited ceramic artist Peder Hegland at his Sartell, Minnesota home and studio in February 2018.

We began carrying his work last year. Now planning an update to his Curated store for March 2018, it was a good time to learn more about his career and ceramic art.

He’s been one of our favorite regional makers for years. His carefully executed functional stoneware and bold illustrations are a striking draw at Midwest art fairs.

Our discussion began with his youth in Wisconsin, then getting his degree in Chemistry at Luther College (Iowa), and finally his conversion to ceramic artist after returning to Luther (under Dean Schwarz) and California summers at Pond Farm (under Marguerite Wildenhain).

For sake of brevity, Curated has decided to first release his thoughts on Inspiration. Soon to follow we’ll release his rich biography titled Paths Taken.

Thank you, Peder, for generously sharing your story with us.

Steve Basile
Partner, Curated Ceramics


Part I- Inspiration

Steve Basile, Curated Ceramics: At what point in your career did you begin to see your voice emerge in the work?

Peder Hegland: It’s a gradual thing. At the start you’re very influenced by teachers and what you can do. The whole point is just to develop. It kind of happens organically if you just keep working, trying new things, failing at things, and seeing what sells and what doesn’t. Just do according to who you are, what you like, and what you’re successful at.
A style begins to develop. You can see that with anyone who’s been doing it a long time. It depends on what kind of person they are. That’s why you have such an amazing diversity in ceramics. Especially with people who’ve been doing it for a while. They make pots according to who they are.

Curated: When I look at your work, you’ve held steadfast to Marguerite Wildenhain’s teaching about craft at Pond Farm. You haven’t fallen far from that tree in training. I feel this is to your credit. Instead of chasing around a bunch of Marguerite’s pots from decades past, and thousands of dollars, I can get work from Marguerite’s school with your creative illustrations added.
You have rural and wildlife themes in your work. Does that come from your upbringing and time here in rural Sartell, Minnesota?

Hegland: I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin near Milwaukee. It’s an industrial town on Lake Michigan. But my family always vacationed in northern Wisconsin. We spent a lot of time in the north woods. That’s where it probably started.
Also, at Luther College, the countryside is just incredibly gorgeous. It was another big revelation to me. I spent a lot of time outside fishing and exploring around. At that point I decided that’s really the kind of place I wanted to live.
When I worked for Deneen Pottery, I lived in the big city (St Paul, MN). That was interesting too. But after that I wanted to live in a small town, the country, and north woods. When you’re in that atmosphere there’s nature all around.

Curated: So, your work reflects fondness for the rural nature experience applied to the craft that Marguerite ingrained.

Hegland: Yes. At Pond Farm if you were a beginner she had a very rigid method for teaching you the beginning techniques. The steps. But after that the emphasis was on creativity. She harped that she did not want you to copy her. So, in a way, that my pots aren’t that far from hers may not be something she would have liked.
That said, I make what I value and like. It just happens I still use some of the same techniques.

Curated: I may have an overly simplistic appreciation, but feel it’s to your strength that you have carried Marguerite’s craft forward. I like the connectedness to Marguerite that comes from owning your work. There’s something reassuring about the craft of a legend and also seeing your voice as an artist.
You grew up in Racine, but there was something about the woods around Decorah. The land, the animals, the trees, and all that. People talk about Pond Farm the same way. About wandering the areas around the pottery where you can go in the woods to draw inspiration then return and sketch it on the pots.

Hegland: Pond Farm was another very beautiful place. Nature was a very important part of the curriculum. At Pond Farm every Wednesday afternoon was drawing. Marguerite thought drawing was a very important tool for a potter. Depending on what your ability was, she would give you a problem and challenge you. People who had been there several years, who were more advanced, would ask if they could just draw. Period. So you could spend the whole summer drawing. And often she would send you up the hill to find something to draw. The point was to learn and see form.

Curated: When seeing drawings on your pots, would you say the illustrations capture rural Minnesota, Decorah, or even Pond Farm?

Hegland: All of it, I would say. Everything is in there. An idea can come from any place. There is unlimited inspiration in nature if you take the time to look.

Curated: I feel lucky to have regularly connected with you here in Minnesota. I look at your work and think of both you and Marguerite.

Hegland: I’m proud to have had the opportunity to study with Marguerite but also feel my work should be judged and appreciated from where it is now, many years later.

©Curated Ceramics 2018. Text and images may not be reused without expressed permission from this website.

Curricula Vitae
Master of Fine Arts Degree Ceramics, University of Iowa – Iowa City, 2005
Master of Arts Degree Ceramics, University of Iowa – Iowa City, 2004
Bachelor of Arts (Distinction), University of Minnesota – Morris, 1996

Additional Education
Studio of Koie Ryoji, Studio guest of internationally renowned ceramic artist, Tokoname, Japan, 2001
Studio of Jeff Shapiro, Apprenticed to Ceramic Artist, Accord, NY. 2001
Denmark’s Design School, Guest Student Ceramics, Industrial Design Program. Denmark’s Design School, Copenhagen, DK. 2000
Saint John’s Pottery Studio, Apprenticed to Richard Bresnahan, Collegeville, MN. 1996-1999.

Teaching Appointments
2010- Present, Associate Professor of Art, College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University, St. Joseph, MN
Courses Taught: Ceramics I, Ceramics II – III, Design: 3D /Drawing, Senior Studio Thesis
2005 – 2010, Assistant Professor of Art, College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University, St. Joseph, MN Courses Taught: Ceramics I, Ceramics II-III, Art 101: “Art, Aesthetics, and Culture”, Design: 3D/Drawing, Senior Studio Thesis
2005, Adjunct Faculty of Art, “Beginning & Advanced Ceramics”, Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2005-2002, Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record), “Introduction to Throwing” & “Introduction to Hand Building” University of Iowa, Iowa City
2004, Instructor, “Intermediate & Advanced Wheel Throwing”, “Altering Wheel Thrown Ceramics”, “and “Pottery Design and Decoration”, Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, Iowa City, Iowa

A complete copy of Sam’s CV is available upon request.


Curated Ceramics visited Willem Gebben in July 2018.

Process Video of Rick Hintze

Warren MacKenzie pottery marks

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