Ross Hilgers

Professor, Ceramics Art

I enjoy creating work that is non-functional and abstract. I'm attracted to this kind of work because of its useless nature. It is the lack of function that creates greater clarity in my search for unexpected beauty.

Artist Statement:

I produce work with a focus on mass and form. The beauty of basic forms coming together to form a sculpture intrigues me. I create my pieces without openings to generate ambiguity about whether the sculpture is solid or hollow and to remove connections to function.  My work is unglazed to remove reference to many historical connotations that glaze implies. In place of glaze, I use non-conventional metal coatings to create surfaces that convey age or history, freezing a moment in time with the surface’s organic signs of decay intimately mingling with the strength of the underlying form. By working with metal coatings and by working outside the canons of representation, function, and vessel, I strive for viewers to understand clay purely, as abstract sculpture.

My work is highly influenced by early to mid 20th century modernist sculpture. Artists such as Noguchi, Smith, Arp, Duckworth, and Moore all inform me as I search for new ways of pushing clay into the sculpture world.


Ross Hilgers

Professor, Ceramics Olin – 110