The Hedgerow Farm Bakery Pottery Project

The Hedgerow Farm Bakery Pottery Project was collaboration between the late Hedgerow Farm Bakery and myself. At the time, I was a second year graduate student at Alfred University and ‘the Bakery’ was the only place in Alfred, NY to eat wholesome homemade food. It was a greatly appreciated addition to the village’s very limited dining options and it is really too bad that it is no longer around. Just writing about it makes me hungry…

The project attempted to answer the Bakery’s desire to have handmade pottery to serve their delicious foods on by establishing a mutually beneficial collaboration between myself and the bakery, in which I would make pottery to be used in the Bakery for free on the condition that the pottery was also for sale. Under the terms of our contract, which was prominently displayed on the side of the cabinet that housed the pots in the bakery, the bakery was guaranteed a supply pots to use and in turn I was able to appropriate the bakery as my alternative interactive gallery space. Both us felt that we were taking advantage of each other and we were open with each other about these feelings.

This project was fundamentally two things for me, the development of an experimental mutually beneficial partnership between myself and the bakery and an exercise in the full discloser of that partnership. However, as the peculiar structure of our collaboration was revealed, it presented itself as sort of form that was both highly rational and delightfully strange, much like the pots and the rest of the bakery for that matter. The lettering, colors and construction of the cabinet advertised that an element of the collaboration was purposely outrageous; referencing classic circus athletics, the innocent icon of lemonade stand entrepreneurism and the distinguished social position of the Victorian hutch. The cabinet built trust in the collaboration, gave it a clear interface and begged for further investigation into its intentions. The project transformed the bakery experience with pots that supported the bakery’s mission as an eatery, and through the experience of the pots the curious gesture of the project was readily accessed.