In Howard Risatti's Article "Making Meaning: a Dialogue between nature and culture" the basis for his argument seem to be based on material and the parameters of function. I think that he is talking about functional pottery being accepted as fine art rather than the field of ceramics. At no point in the article did he address anything other that functional works. He points out that the parameters of function put the emphasis on the physical rather than the optical. With any material there are limits and boundaries, be it clay or not. A sculptor working in marble has to be equally aware of the limitations of his material. It might make the task at hand a little more difficult with set parameters but it certainly doesn't issue the field of ceramics a "pass" because of it.
On the last page of the article he comments on "machine made objects". He states,"Moreover, as machine made objects there is no actual maker to conduct a dialogue between culture and nature via material and technique- the machine simply imposes its will on the material." This statement would lead one to believe that that there is a population of mindless machines arbitrarily mass producing work. It seems that he has ignored the fact that these products are designed by designers. Designers conduct the dialogue between culture and nature, and even saying that is oversimplifying the case. I believe that he has missed his own point. I believe he is talking about the importance of the handmade object, and the intimacy between maker and user. It seems that the author is looking for the art world to acknowledge academically these human comforts, but I think he might be barking up the wrong tree.