Faces in Clay: Tim Whitten Exhibition Recap

Updated: May 20

Tim Whitten's expressive face jugs and mugs have taken over the Museum Gallery for the month of May!

A self-taught potter, Tim began his artistic journey in 2009 when he moved to South Carolina to pursue a masters degree and met a local potter, Martin Bailey, who help shape Tim's trajectory towards pottery. Listen to Tim's Artist Talk at May Art Night, or keep reading to learn more about him.

Martin and Tim developed a friendship, and, as Tim became more involved with traveling to shows and building his personal collection, he realized that he was never as energized or inspired in his career as he was returning from shows. Determined and inspired, Tim decided to use his wife's pottery wheel to teach himself how to throw. Eventually, he began making the work you can find in the Museum Gallery!

Tim has always been drawn to face jugs due to the personality and the emotional connection they can inspire.


"I hear people say, 'Yeah, that looks like my cousin so and so.' It's a neat connection to make with people."


Although his jugs may remind you of someone, Tim is quick to say that he absolutely does not model his jugs after anyone he knows. Although, he will admit that the jugs with beards did begin as a type of self-portrait. He allows the jug to speak to him and dictate the way the face takes shape. Tim rarely makes pieces without faces; in fact, when he tries to throw a simple bowl, he says that he just has to add a face to it!


Tim has been creating for many years now, but he is still finding new things to discover. He says, "I just love that process and that there's never an end to the process. There's always something new to learn. When I feel like I'm settled in to my style or my process, there's always something new--there's new firing techniques, a new glaze, or a new clay to try out, or something new to do with it...So I appreciate the challenge that comes along to the process."


Faces in Clay will be on view in Kentuck's Museum Gallery until May 28, 2021. We encourage you to visit this show in person! We are currently open Monday-Friday, 9:30-5:30 and Saturday-Sunday, 12-4. Facial coverings encouraged.



Available Work:

If you're interested in purchasing a piece from Faces in Clay, please contact mbell@kentuck.org or call (205)-758-1257 for more photos and details. Click on each image for a closer look.


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