UPDATE: The shop sold out in 12 hours, but you can still enter to win a cup by Branan Mercer here.
CFile Pop-Up Shop series is thrilled to be peddling Branan Mercer’s tea bowls for one week only—Monday 6/6 – Monday 6/13. We delight in Mercer’s new-fangled yunomis for their 13 fiery color combinations, contemporary lifted foot, and dramatic glaze gloops— the phrase “the icing on the cake” comes to mind.
Branan Mercer began working with clay as an undergraduate at Auburn University. After receiving his BFA in ceramics in 2008, he traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to work as an artist-in-residence at The Craftsman House Gallery. From there, he moved to Fairhope, AL where he spent four years as Studio Manager and Pottery Instruction at The Kiln Studio and Gallery. Currently he resides in Birmingham, AL where his studio efforts are focused on creating exquisitely-crafted functional ceramics.
CFile covered a collection of Mercer’s cups presented by The Nevica Project late in 2015, remarking, “Mercer’s contemporary pottery expands on the traditional Japanese tea bowl, imbuing it with a stunningly modern look. Mercer focused on simplification and elimination of distractions from his designs and the result is a series radiating with bold colors and a focus on the sensation of suspense.” The artist remarked on the length of time he’s spent practicing this one design:
“I have spent the past year and a half exploring one form and I can honestly say it has been the most fulfilling stretch of time since I began working with clay over eight years ago. My focus is not to reinvent the cup, or to try to accomplish something that hasn’t been done before. I am only trying to create the best possible version of my chosen design. Often I feel like I have reach a pinnacle in the work and find myself wandering to new forms. However with each new series of cups, I discover some unseen subtlety that draws me back. Something that makes me question previous decisions and pushes me forward to continue exploring the various elements of design in this repeating form.” -Branan Mercer
Mercer’s rims and corners feel angular and precise, almost 90 degrees, with a contemporary foot that juts out the bottom of the cup like a pillar. While there is a great deal of uniformity within Mercer’s family of cups, there are 13 color varieties and just enough diversity in the drama of the drip and the dimensions of the cups.