Architects Fired

An exhibit this fall shows what architects can do with 12 pounds of clay

Architect Joan Fabry created a “Three Little Pigs” tea service
with pieces resembling stick, straw and brick constructions.
The English writer and art critic John Ruskin once said, “No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.”

Washington-based sculptor Rebecca Cross and her husband, architectural photographer Maxwell Mackenzie, are proving this point in their contemporary Georgetown gallery, Cross Mackenzie Ceramic Arts, in an exhibit called “Architects Fired,” opening
on November 17.

Cross approached 14 prominent Washington architects with a challenge and 12 pounds of clay. “I told them to use up to that amount of material to create a piece of sculpture, a wall piece and/or a cup,” she said. “We thought it would be liberating for them to be able to play with design in a different way.”

Stepping up to throw down is a who’s who of local progressives: Olvia Demetriou, Mark McInturff, Robert Gurney, Rouzita Vahhabaghai, Travis Price, Simon Jacobsen, Phil Esocoff, Ben Van Dusen, Richard Williams, Ralph Cunningham, Lee Quill, Amy Weinstein, Joan Fabry and Eason Cross (Rebecca’s father).

Among the clever entries is Fabry’s “Three Little Pigs” tea service. Fabry fashioned her ceramic teapot, sugar bowl and creamer to look like they were made of straw, sticks and bricks.

For more information on “Architects Fired,” which runs through December 15, phone (202) 333-7970 or visit the Web site