Pottery by David Ernster of Newbury

An affinity for fish

Vase, 16-inches, $325

Alicia Bergeron

David Ernster loves working with plastic materials. Not the material plastic, but media like clay that can be formed with the hand or with tools in hand. His first degree is in metalsmithing, but he also favors ceramics. A resident of Newbury, he teaches at Colby-Sawyer College in New London and has exhibited at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair in Sunapee and nationally at a studio pottery show in NYC. He has taught at UNH and the NH Institute of Art.

Ernster grew up around the Mississippi River, where he developed an affinity for fish and local clays. Now he uses clay dug locally to add manganese and iron to low-fire glazes for his black catfish shown here. Surface decoration is caused by mineral defects revealed by the firing of his modified Shino glaze.

The fish have been displayed sitting on rocks at a show at The Fells or look great just slithering through a perennial garden.

They range from 24 to 30 inches, and are built solid and then hollowed out and put back together in a leather-hard stage.

 Ernster also has a  collection of vases with fish imagery pressed into the clay and a variety of plates that dance with lines created with glaze or textures in the clay. He also loves two-dimensional designs. His work has won numerous awards including Best in Show in Living with Crafts and Best in Show in ceramics at Animals at The Fells in Newbury.

Fish vary in size, $575 to $800. Ernster will be exhibiting at Living With Crafts, August 2 to 10, at the League of New Hampshire Craftsman’s Fair in Sunapee.



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