Mitchell Spain


Growing up on the family farm south of Des Moines, Iowa, Mitchell Spain spent much of his childhood rummaging through "junk" left in old barns. Today, he is an accomplished artist crafting high-quality ceramic works using a trompe l'oeil technique that mimics these rustic findings.

Creating new uses for old things, practicing environmental friendliness, and designing sweet stuff for you all is his jam.

artist statement

"Our ability as humans to consciously review our faults to prevent future mistakes is invaluable. So often, however, these former follies are disregarded. With my work, I explore my personal connection with the physical and social world in which I exist, utilizing imagery from the past to form an understanding of the present.

Using trompe l’oeil techniques in ceramics, I mask porcelain in a façade of rusty vessels, choosing to mimic forms that often hold strong stigmas in terms of their environmental impact. In turn, this creates a satirical element in that the contents are known to be harmful to humans and the environment, yet are containers created for function, specifically ingestion. Through this exploration of material and imagery I navigate the relationship of humanity and earth; most notably the uncertainty of the future if we continue our paths of destruction through careless consumption of resources and reckless regard for the environment."