Vessels have been icons of myth and spirituality from the dawn of civilization. Intrigued by their ancient symbolism, I work to combine the archetypal forms of the human figure and the rich narrative of architecture in contemporary sculptural vessels.

I have been immersed in ceramic work for 36 years: as a designer, maker and self-taught engineer. My work in clay began with a two-year pottery apprenticeship at age 20, followed by undergraduate work in ceramics and a yearlong working tour of many British potters. My collaborative work with Jan Hoyman at the Hoyman/Browe Studio from 1979-2004, has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, Architectural Digest, Home, House and Garden, Metropolitan Home and Vanity Fair magazines, as well as in movie and TV show sets. The studio and its work gained a national presence through the representation by Leslie Ferrin Gallery, The Clay Pot, The American Hand and others.

Over the last 27 years, 24 apprentices from the US and 3 European countries have trained and worked in that studio. Today, many of these apprentices are involved in the field of contemporary ceramics becoming part of the group I refer to as the “New Functionalists”; artists academically trained in Fine Art focusing on utilitarian ceramics as their art form.

A career long passion for locally prospected and harvested ceramic materials led me to work with Potters for Peace in setting up a ceramics studio in a Burmese Refugee camp in 2002, and again in 2004 to train the refugees in making ceramic water filters. Inspired by teaching in the camp, I returned to school at age 50 to complete my Masters degree and began teaching ceramics at the college level in 2007.

Currently, I head the Ceramics Department at Mendocino College in Ukiah CA and have a studio practice making utilitarian ceramics and sculpture in Elk CA. “I am intrigued by the relationship of architecture and the human figure, that place where the figure finds form in architecture and architecture finds form in figuration. I use these narratives to e
xpress a variety of personal and social issues in my work”.

Doug Browe