Richard Aerni of Rochester, New York, has achieved national stature as an incredibly accomplished studio potter and this large, spectacular bowl is an outstanding example of his talent. Since 1979, he has supported himself as a ceramic artist, perfecting the wood ash glazes he uses with such superb results. On this wheel-thrown piece, which he calls a gondola tray, the interior has raised slip trails under the glaze; the undulating lines and shades of shimmering green remind us of an underwater world. The shape is indeed reminiscent of a gondola, with an upswept, sculptured handle at each end. The handles, rim and underside of the bowl are a matte black, somewhat bumpy, with a dry foot revealing the white clay. Aerni's iconic signature, his last name centered in a double circle impressed in the clay, is on the bottom.
Richard Aerni's works are displayed in numerous public collections, including the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA; the American Art Museum at the Smithsonian and the American Craft Museum in New York City. Ceramic Monthly Magazine's permanent collection also displays Aerni's work; he was featured on the cover of December, 1994 issue, which contained a lead article about him. It's shown in one of our photos, along with a more recent photo of him at his wheel.
This is a large piece, just shy of 20 inches long and measuring 14 inches front to back at the widest point, tapering to about 4 inches wide at each end. It stands about 5 inches high and weighs 7 pounds 6 ounces. It is in excellent condition and is a tour de force of ceramic artistry.
P.S. White spots are of course just light reflecting off the glazes.