Frank Ditri

Iowa City, IA


Frank Ditri is a ceramic artist, originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He received his BFA in ceramic art from the University of Iowa in 2009. After graduation, Frank went on to become a resident artist at the Ceramics Center in Cedar Rapids. In early 2011, Frank moved to rural Virginia where he worked as a resident artist at the Cub Creek Foundation. Since returning to IA in late 2011, Frank started his current studio space located just outside of Iowa City, and in 2013, Frank dove full-time into his career, designing and creating modern, functional vessels for everyday use.


I make vessels to enhance everyday experiences. So often in today’s world, filled with to-go cups and plastic flatware, the enjoyment factor is overlooked. We should be more conscious about treating ourselves to good feelings during everyday life. The touch of a glass or ceramic vessel is so much more comforting then that of a squeaky styrofoam cup. The permanence factor is also something to be considered here. Why use something once when you have a chance to build a relationship with an object that you can use repeatedly over time? I want to build relationships with my vessels, those that I have made, and those that I use. I want the objects that I create to build a relationship with the user.
But, it is not just about the feel and touch of the object, it is about the visual presence of the object as well. I bring a modern feel to my wares with the use of sharp lines, contrasting colors and surfaces, and repetitive marking from the world around us. Every stamp that I use in my decorating process is a found object. These objects are all around us, usually unseen, hidden within some other object – clock parts, gears, knobs, nails, screws, and anchoring units are among the items that create the patterns found on my work. My hope is that through the use of the objects that I create, the average parts of our everyday lives may be enjoyed more deeply, and that a real relationship with the object will grow.