Stirring the Pot

Taking cues from East and West, ceramist Per Weiss creates vessels with physical and spiritual heft.

I used to say I wouldn’t make anything I couldn’t move myself, but I’ve long given up that resolution," says Danish ceramist Per Weiss, whose stoneware vessels can reach four feet in height and weigh up to 330 pounds. Working in his studio in Lejre, outside Copenhagen, he sometimes spends six weeks on a single pot. The inspiration for his oversize amphoralike forms came during a visit to Crete, where Weiss was captivated by the scale of traditional oil and water jars. The hypnotic patterns of squiggles in his glazes, meanwhile, draw loosely on labyrinthine, meditative imagery found in Zen Buddhist art— a legacy of the 13 years that Weiss, 53, spent in Japan early in his career. He only makes about 30 pots each year. "The response has been tremendous," says Gerard Widdershoven of the New York gallery Maison Gerard. "Given his limited output, I don’t know what we’d do if they became truly popular." Vessels, $10,000 –$24,000. At Maison Gerard, 53 E. 10th St., New York, 212-674 -7611,, and Jørgen L. Dalgaard, 28 Bredgade, Copenhagen, 45-33/140-905,