Dusti Bongé ceramic bowl? Who knew?

This week’s featured artwork in the See Great Art partnership with the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation takes us in a completely new direction. Ceramics!

Here’s Dusti Bongé Art Foundation Executive Director Ligia M. Römer with the details.

Dusti Bongé, Buff Clay Bowl, 1979, clay, 12 1/2” diameter x 5 3/4” high

For a change of pace this week we will share a ceramic work by Dusti Bongé. This is a large bowl Dusti made in the late 1970s.

Although we all know Dusti primarily as a painter, she was also always engaged with some crafting project or another making rugs, clothing or pottery, working with fabrics, clay or fiberglass. Dusti enjoyed creating both clay pottery and figurines during her long career, but the number of pieces in this medium is definitely quite limited.

Interestingly, she first created several clay figures back in the late 1930s. These all had a rather whimsical quality to them, some of them appearing to be dancing or singing, others with angel wings. Then, for many years it appears that she did not produce any ceramic work at all.

However, in the late 1970s, she befriended a ceramist and it rekindled her interest in working in clay, and she started making pottery items, including bowls, small dishes, vases and teapots. 

Herewith we have a large, beautiful bowl made in 1979. Most of the ceramics she made were not thrown on a wheel but molded by hand, either through coiling, or hand building. To Dusti the very different creative act of shaping and twisting and turning a material was very inspiring and freeing.

Again, in her 1982 book “Dusti Bongé: The Life of an Artist,” we find evidence of this when she refers to some of these ceramic works saying:

This I made,

Some nothing,





My past making its future

This bowl in a buff clay with a white eggshell glaze has a wonderful “unfinished” delicate edge. Dusti and her family actually used the items she made in their daily lives, and so this bowl indeed had its future.

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