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Ceramics-Themed Weekend Also Will Include a Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Bowl Workshop, in Partnership with The Clay Studio

Robert Hunter

Internationally acclaimed artist Michelle Erickson has created exquisite ceramic pieces for the major motion picture The Patriot, HBO’s series John Adams, and even for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

Now she is joining the Museum of the American Revolution to showcase her scholarship and craftsmanship with a special evening program on Thursday, Dec. 6 and a live ceramic demonstration on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Museum will continue the ceramics-themed weekend with a create-your-own ice cream bowl workshop, in partnership with The Clay Studio, on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

Image 100920 Erickson Pickle Stand Me Pickel Stand Plain 1 Of 1
Recreation of the Bonnin and Morris pickle stand by Michelle Erickson Gavin Ashworth

Also on Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9, visitors are invited to make an ornament inspired by nautical details in the 1770s pickle stand created by Philadelphia’s Bonnin and Morris, the first American porcelain factory. The activity is free with museum admission. On the Museum's lower level, guests will be able to see a display of Erickson's work, called American Pickle, throughout the weekend.

“Michelle continues to push the boundaries of a craft that has existed for thousands of years. We are beyond delighted to welcome her to the Museum,” said Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Director of Education for the Museum. “Material culture and the decorative arts play an important role at the Museum. Through these everyday objects, visitors learn about the people, places and events that forged our nation.”

Politics, Porcelain and Revolution with Michelle Erickson
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at 6 p.m.
$20 General Admission, $15 Members, $10 Students

In this special evening program, Erickson will discuss her practice as a studio potter whose art is distinguished by its strong commentary, historical depth and technological virtuosity. Historically, ceramics have been used to advocate for political change and social justice, and to document noteworthy events in the human experience. Erickson gives renewed relevance to the legacy of ceramics as a form of social expression. A focus of her talk will be the Bonnin and Morris pickle stand – a tiered porcelain serving dish – which is currently on display at the Museum of the American Revolution through December 2018, on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. More information and tickets here.

Making a (Pickle) Stand: Porcelain and Politics in Revolutionary Philadelphia
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, from 1 – 4 p.m.
Free with Museum admission

What can one piece of porcelain tell us about the American Revolution? Erickson will offer a discussion on her seminal work “Making a Bonnin and Morris Pickle Stand,” published in Ceramics in America 2007, and recreate this 18th-century American porcelain luminary using techniques of throwing, modeling, and life casting porcelain. While making the pickle stand, Erickson will discuss the context of the original masterwork, which was produced in Philadelphia at the Bonnin and Morris factory amidst burgeoning forces of Revolution. More information and tickets here. Additionally, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. that day, watch a 3D printing of a Philadelphia pickle stand in person and learn more about 3D printing artifacts, historical items, and fossils from Dr. Bernard Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dished Up Dessert: Make a Seashell Ice Cream Bowl
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, from 2 – 4 p.m.
$25 adults, $20 kids and $15 members, which includes Museum admission. Pre-registration is required.

Guests can make their own seashell ice cream bowl to take home, using Revolutionary techniques, in partnership with The Clay Studio. The design for these bowls is inspired by the nautical details on the rare pickle stand created by Bonnin and Morris. In this 90-minute workshop, guests will use a shell form to create an ice cream bowl from start to finish, with blue and white porcelain glaze. (Please note: Bowls will be fired off-site at The Clay Studio and participants will be contacted within 2-4 weeks when their works are ready for pick-up. The Clay Studio is located at 139 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.) This workshop is appropriate for adults and children ages 6 and older. More information and tickets here.

About Michelle Erickson
Michelle Erickson is an independent ceramic artist and scholar, internationally recognized for her mastery of colonial-era ceramic techniques. Her pieces are in the collections of major museums in America and Britain, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Seattle Art Museum, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery at Stoke on Trent, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Erickson’s body of scholarship concerning the rediscovery of 17th and 18th century ceramics techniques has been documented in many publications, most notably several volumes of the annual journal Ceramics in America. In 2007, she was commissioned to design and create the official gift to be given to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her historic visit to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. For more information, visit

About The Clay Studio
The Clay Studio in Philadelphia brings together students, artists, and people from all walks of life around the art and craft of clay. Every day, in its studios, galleries, and classrooms, and in neighborhoods and local schools, the Studio deepens the connections between people and clay with the highest quality ceramic art and instruction. As a community that was founded in 1974, The Clay Studio continues in the belief that shared creativity, so fundamental to humanity, is a critical force for good. The Clay Studio is located on N 2nd Street between Race and Arch Streets. The galleries and shop are open from 11 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and Sunday 12 pm to 6 pm. Please visit for more information about the studio and upcoming events.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dramatic, surprising story of the American Revolution through its unmatched collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art. Immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and digital touchscreens bring to life the diverse array of people who created a new nation against incredible odds. Visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in the ongoing promise of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit or call 877.740.1776.