Off the Walls
Western Massachusetts ceramist, designer, and artist Molly Hatch breaks molds and boundaries.
Approaching Molly Hatch’s ceramic studio on the third floor of Florence, Massachusetts’ Arts and Industry building, every single footstep resounds through the hallways. That’s the way of former mill buildings. This one, solid and comfortable with its little bit of dustiness and roughness, leaves plenty of space for artists to remake its purpose.
For Hatch, the spot’s pitch-perfect, a leisurely walk from her house and design studio with her black dog, Hank. “When you’re a young person dreaming of the studio you’d one day work in, this is what you envision,” she explains. In Sunday mode, which is not unlike artist-at-work mode — jeans, a striped blue and white tee, and sneaks, auburn hair pulled into a high ponytail — Hatch is ready to lift plates from one of her kilns. The plates belong to an installation titled Illume for Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary in Manhattan. This “plate painting” depicts a blue and white vase, surrounded by a shiny, solid gold “frame.” Each plate that helps comprise the vase is painterly, simultaneously a swath of the overall pattern and a complete work of art in itself.