Ian McDonald

Visiting Artist

Ian McDonald is an artist with a unique philosophy that plays at the distinctive intersection of sculpture and craft. One of today’s most regarded potters with a portfolio that ranges from traditional vessels to free-form sculpture and mixed-media installations, his experience has led him to the current position of Head of Ceramics at the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art. Here, Ian leads a rigorous studio practice that explores the ceramic spectrum, finding inspiration in its position as a material for conceptual form and idea making.

We are very proud to announce a unique collaboration with Ian on a special project at Kornegay, to be announced in November. His diverse experience and multifaceted approach to his art make him the perfect partner for us, furthering our longstanding commitment to creating original, timeless designs realized through exceptional artistry and craftsmanship.

“My artistic vision is probably best described as ‘sculpture through the lens of a potter,’ which creates a wonderful tension between form and function — with design at the epicenter.”
– Ian McDonald

Ian’s unique artistic approach and set of experiences will no doubt inspire his work at Kornegay. He plans to build on his seminal work at Cranbrook to develop a new mutual relationship of design, the crafts, sculpture, industrial design and engineering. “I don’t think it would be very interesting to just take something of mine, enlarge it, and transform the material,” McDonald says. “Rather, I want to take the vocabulary I use to approach the objects I make and use it to guide new concepts that are large in scale, exploring material possibility and embracing the outdoor space.”

As he translates the personal and self-expressive context of his current practice to the very public and global context of his new work with Kornegay, Ian will look to the myriad textures, forms, and finishes that are inherent to cast concrete as surrogates for his hands –- the potter’s ultimate tools for shaping his art with creativity, authenticity and integrity.