Molly Hatch, Ouroboros, USA, 2021

Molly Hatch, Ouroboros, USA, 2021

In the past decade the name Molly Hatch has become synonymous with contemporary ceramics.  Hatch’s ceramic installations, inspired by historical decoration, have been exhibited and collected all over the world and garnered her a loyal and fervent following. Todd Merrill Studio has represented Hatch since 2013.

In 2022 Molly Hatch took part in Making Place Matter, an ambitious and experimental exhibition that marked the opening of The Clay Studio’s newly built 34,000 sq ft expanded home. Located in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, the Clay Studio is a non-profit centered around the art and craft of contemporary ceramics. Making Place Matter invited three leading ceramic artists to explore the idea of place with regard to personal history, cultural heritage, and social justice. Drawing on her ancestral heritage, Hatch’s grand-scale “plate paintings” take historical patterns – often from porcelain plates – as their source. Hatch seamlessly merges the past into the present as she enlarges historical ornament, vaulting it into near-abstraction.

Featured in the exhibition, Ouroboros was inspired by the famed 1796 “States” plate from the presidential dinner service for Martha Washington in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Commissioned as a symbol of the newly unified nation of America, the plate features a linked chain to reflect the first 15 states. Martha Washington’s monogram is centered on a golden sunburst. Hatch was particularly drawn to the outer rim of the plate featuring an ouroboros, an ancient symbol of life death and rebirth represented by a serpent eating its tail. By superimposing the golden sunburst over an enlarged blue and white snake skin pattern spread across the installation’s 37 plate surface, Hatch has created a golden mirror, “tying it back to the history of the country,” Hatch explains. “We are still rethinking ourselves, rebirthing ourselves in that eternal cycle of recreating America.” 

As Hatch works on a commission basis, custom works may be requested.

Medium: Hand-painted earthenware, underglaze, glaze, gold luster

Dimensions: 70” H x 70” W x 1.5” D, 177.8 H x 177.8 W x 3.81 D cm

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