Mitch Iburg is an American Ceramic artist who works primarily with clay and mineral resources harvested from landscapes. The content of his work is synonymous with the setting where he makes the object. He aims to create art that blends the physiological substance and emotional characteristics, intending to form expressions of its terroir by researching the clay deposits, mineral resources, and geological interpretations unique to specific regions. The studio is housed in a 100-year-old industrial building in Saint Paul, Minnesota, serves as a showroom, clay processing site, and workspace for producing tableware, sculpture, and vessel-based art.
Iburg graduated from Coe College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and has subsequently worked in Virginia, New York, California, and Denmark, adapting bodies of work to the natural expressions and materials available in each area. Along with his partner, ceramic artist Zo Powell, he founded Studio Alluvium in 2018.
Materials & Process
The Materials are sourced directly from the earth throughout the state of Minnesota. Various clays, stones, and minerals are thoroughly researched and tested before being combined to create a finished product that reflects the expressions of natural surroundings while still meeting basic functionality.
Mitch Iburg employs the wheel throwing technique to make all his pieces. Once trimmed, multiple layers of clays, minerals, and vitreous sands are applied to achieve a surface that conveys history and depth. Each piece is hand-polished with diamond pads after firing to 2250 F/1232 C to achieve the texture of water-worn stone. Unless otherwise stated, all items are food-safe and watertight. Only wash by hand.
Although produced in series, each piece is unique. Natural stones melt and develop minute fissures and protrusions, resulting in variation in texture and colour. Consistent material preparation and comprehensive geological research have influenced an approach that embraces these differences as elements to the unique vocabulary of the artwork.