Didem Mert is a fairly new artist to the ceramics scene. She is still working towards her MFA at Edinboro University and will graduate this year. Although she is still in school, she has exhibited her work in nationally recognized galleries and institutions as well as received several scholarships for residencies.
Mert’s work is a low fire earthenware body that she then decorates with blockings of terra sig, glazes, underglazes, and lustre. Her surfaces provide a contrast of uneven, pinched texture with smooth, crisp surfaces. Her technique of applying terra sig with a brush allows the coating to break and pool within the marks left by her hands, giving her work the tantalizing quality that I am drawn towards. Her color palette is also one I admire: earthy tones with pops of bright color and gold. Her forms are simple and geometric which allow the designs to come forward and add their own geometry to the shape of the pot.
I am inspired by how red her clay remains after the low firing – something I would like to try in my own work, a different aesthetic from the delicate porcelain I am working with now. Pattern is something that pulls me into others’ work and Didem Mert’s patterns are successful in doing so.