Best Served Hot | Ceramics for the Coffee Ritual
Coffee is a companion. It warms on a cool day, keeps the mind alert on a tired morning, and accompanies a break from work or a date with a friend. Coffee is programmed into many people's daily schedules, both for pleasure and practicality. The morning cup, the coffee break, the decaf with dessert...coffee can be a ritualistic drink, associated with a recurring moment in everyday life.
Though paper cups with plastic lids have come to dominate coffee culture, Best Served Hot: Ceramics for the Coffee Ritual honors handmade ceramic vessels. When sipped from a favorite mug or poured from a handmade pot, coffee represents more than a hurried jolt of energy. It can slow time to create a moment of relaxation, provoke thought, and fuel conversation. The work in Best Served Hot is a collection for all types of coffee connoisseurs. There are singular mugs for those who consume the beverage daily, serving sets and coffee pots for those who entertain, and pour-over apparatuses for those who prefer a specialty brew.
The unique ceramic work presented in Best Served Hot is a perfect pairing for the specialty coffee served at Intelligentsia. Just as Lillstreet Gallery represents and supports the mastered techniques of independent artisans, Intelligentsia works alongside its coffee producers to ensure the highest quality product, as well as fair compensation and healthy working environments for farmers. In this way, Best Served Hot pays homage to the highly skilled craftsperson, representing the craft of pottery as well as the craft of coffee.
The combination of specialty coffee and handmade ceramics urges the audience to think about the creation behind consumption: the path coffee takes from seed to roast and the journey a vessel takes from clay to kiln. Best Served Hot is a reminder to acknowledge everyday routines, such as morning coffee, and honor the moment with a product worthy of ritual.
Tracey Morrison holds a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is Gallery Assistant at Lillstreet Art Center.
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