Mark Shapiro is a potter in Western Massachusetts. He is a frequent workshop leader, lecturer, curator, panelist, and writer, and is mentor to a half-dozen plus apprentices who have trained at his Stonepool Pottery. His work was featured in the 4th World Ceramics Biennial in Korea, and is in many public collections. His interviews of Karen Karnes, Michael Simon, Paulus Berensohn, and Sergei Isupov, are in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and he edited A Chosen Path: the Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes (UNC Press 2010). He is on the advisory board of Ceramics Monthly, and is a contributing editor to Studio PotterMagazine. He is a founding member of POW! (Pots on Wheels!) and is director of the Apprenticelines Project (apprenticelines.org), which seeks to promote and expand apprenticeship. Mark was recently awarded a Smithsonian Artist Residency Fellowship.
What is it that defines humankind? The acquisition of fire? language, erect ambulation? Certainly making stuff lies somewhere at the heart of it and making pottery is an essential and primordial part of who we are. Making pots at this moment in time is an act that honors our shared humanity and defies meaningless labor.