A native of New Orleans, Charlie began working in pottery in 1972. He earned an MFA in Ceramics, specializing in RAKU firing from Tulane-Newcomb School of Art. This piece was quickly fired to about 2,000 degrees, then plunged into a smoke chamber where flames and smoke changed the colors and design.
In May of 1980, Rocky earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University, with a concentration in Ceramics. She did teach art for 15 years, but later became a full time potter. She loves simple vessel forms, and is particularly fond of strong color contrasts. This vessel is from her "Dance Series." Her silhouette of dancers are painted to communicate joy.
(d.2002) Margaret was a long time member of the St. Tammany Art Association, and served as President 1973-74. She graduated from Newcomb College in New Orleans with a degree in Elementary Education. In her earlier career, she was a 4th grade teacher. Following retirement, she studied pottery with numerous teachers as well as studies at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts.
Tim is a retired potter today. He made functional stoneware pots with fairly simple forms. He was most interested in surface glaze decoration. The very fine lines were drawn by using small bottles with hypodermic tips so that the glaze would come out in a thin line. This process is very labor intensive.
The designs of Mark's clay boxes are inspired by New Orleans architecture, with geometric and Neo-classical elements. Mark's interest is in the clay as a material, and in the process of forming, glazing and firing. He says that he works hard at becoming a better potter, and that there's the excitement of progression in the work.
According to Nancy:
My pottery is made by hand in slab form or on the potters wheel. An individual piece may be composed of several clay pieces joined, or I may shape it, allowing for shrinkage so it can accommodate the driftwood handle. I now make bowls and platters that have stylized oriental feel. This came from my interest in learning the proportions and structure of bonsai pots and vases.
Lorraine is a multimedia and self-taught artist who has been inspired by the colorful traditions and rituals of Louisiana. She celebrates life in Louisiana by creating art in her traditional folk artistry. These "Mississippi Mud Dolls" are formed from mud/clay dug from the banks of the river near her home in Hahnville. The fired clay is a reddish color that she embellishes with acrylic paint. The dresses are also handmade. In 2003, Lorraine was commissioned by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to create gifts for visiting dignitaries, and her pieces decorated the tables at the Arts Council of New Orleans awards banquet.
(d. 2013) Jo Ann earned degrees in art from Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1950 and 1969, and then earned her MFA in 1971 at Tulane University. Her collections reside in the Selected Permanent Collections of The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Tampa Museum of Art.
In 2004, she made pots for Mayor Nagin's Gifts For Visitors Program.
This collection of her pots are highly carved, featuring the relaxed figures, and then RAKU fired. I remember her saying how relaxing it was to carve on clay. Jo Ann was a respected figure in the New Orleans art community, as well as a great supporter of the arts.
Sin-Ying earned a B.F.A in 1997 from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Canada. And then in 2001, earned a M.F.A. from Louisiana State University.
According to her Artist Statement, she stated "I was born and raised in Hong Kong, emigrated to Canada and currently live in New York. My work reflects the impact of globalization on the cultural borrowings and interactions in an accelerated "global village." In 2001, her work focused on expressing the collision course of Eastern and Western cultures. She also stated, "I used icons, signs and corporate logos to re-contextualize the intersecting cultures of East and West, new and old, in the 21st century economic globalization.
Artist Statement by Kathy Hosking:
I was introduced to clay and pottery making at an early age, from both a mother who was artistic and an uncle who made molded pottery that he decorated. When I went to a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, I had a wonderful experience in the Ceramics classes, which brought wheel throwing into my life. Since 1970, I have dedicated much of my time and efforts in the craft of making hand-thrown pots. My work has centered around functionality and quality craftsmanship. I have participated in craft shows, traveling to many eastern and southern states making connections with galleries and crafts shops, some which carried my work for many years. Along with my husband, an artist in his own realm of painting and print making, we have worked collaboratively on many of the more involved and intricately expressive clay pieces. Being a potter has taught me to respect the unexpected surprises that come along as part of the process.
Bob is a retired Professor of Art from Louisiana College in Pineville, and has also retired from pottery making. He earned is B.F.A and an M.F.A. from Louisiana State University.
For all of history concerning pottery, much of the pottery produced has been of a utilitarian nature, and were meant to be used in everyday life. Bob mentioned "A utilitarian pot performs in three areas. The first is to function properly. The second is to look good. And the third is to enrich the lives of the persons using it. Therefore, a pot is not really complete until it is used. In this way, the potter, the pot, and the user have a spiritual connection. This connection is not possible with machine-made objects."
Emma has always interested in baskets, and is a self taught artist. She had been a member of the North Carolina Basket Weavers Association and also the Missouri Weavers Guild. Currently, she is a member and a board member of the Texas Basket Weavers Association. She teaches basket weaving at their Weavers Conference. She was also juried in as a master craftsman for the Louisiana Crafts Guild. Emma's designs blend the past and present through color, pattern, surface embellishment, and form, utilizing traditional materials as well as exploring contemporary shapes and textures.
Lynda earned her B.A. in 1973 at Douglass College, and an M.A. in Ceramics at Florida State University. She has had several teaching positions, and membership on the boards of directors of a number of craft organizations.
Lynda creates a line of functional and decorative pottery created entirely in porcelain. Her work incorporates a broad range of influences from throughout the history of ceramics, including the classic porcelains of the Chinese Song Dynasty and Japanese folk pottery. She intends for her pieces to be used as well as contemplated.
(d. 2017?). In a written statement, Pam noted the following: "This Raku ware is fragile because of the heat shock forced upon the clay. This, combined with the type of clay and chemicals in the glaze, make the Raku piece porous. Crazing, crackling and crawling are effects that make Raku distinguishable. I have enjoyed assisting the elements in its creation."
(d. 2017 ?). Richard Whittaker interviewed Michael Miller in 2007. The title of the interview is "Pottery and the Ancient Life: A Conversation with Michael Miller."
Included in that interview, here is a quotation by Michael
"Well, I got a degree in anthropology at LSU. In anthropology you study a lot of pottery because that's what's left from a lot of ancient civilizations and cultures."
In 1971-72 Michael began taking pottery classes at LSU, and was taught by Howard Shapiro. Howard turned out to be a very large influence on the rest of Michael's pottery career.
Michael also said in the interview, "When I look at ancient pots, they are more beautiful, and I wish I could make pots that beautiful. I'm a product of my own culture."
(d. 2003) Chaudrant, LA
This is a gourd with horse hair woven into the top. Angela was a member of the Mississippi Artist Guild. She always had a horticultural interest, and was a self taught artist. She was inspired by the Native Americans of Natchitoches. Angela admitted that pine weaving was too rough on her hands, therefore found horse hair to weave, which was easier on the hands.
Bruce began making pottery lamp bases for a decorative accessories firm in 1976. In 1991, he entered and won a U.S. Pottery Olympics contest. He remained this events champion for another 2 years. In 1992, Bruce won a "World Championship" pottery competition in Italy.
After throwing a pot, Bruce textures the cylinder, and then expands the shape from within. Most of these textures mysteriously seem to relate to nature. And then he raku fires the pot. "Raku" is an ancient Japanese fast-firing technique where, in about 30 minutes, the pot is fired to 2000 degrees and then cooled in the open air. The glaze Bruce uses becomes a molten liquid, and then he sprays the pot with flammable liquid, and the pot bursts into flames. Sawdust and air paint the piece into a rainbow of metallic colors. Then, the pot is plunged into a barrel of water, and the color is a frozen testimony to the trials of each, fire, air and water.
(d. 2018). Excerpts from Diane's Artist Statement include:
"For me, creating objects of art is a spiritual imperative. At the very least, I consider any act of creation, a collaboration. To be allowed to collaborate on a work of art is both an honor and a privilege. Connecting with the clay gives me a profound feeling of satisfaction so complete, I simply cannot NOT do it.. ...I am merely a conduit through which creative energy flows."
Diane mentioned to me that the 3 white bowls were bisque fired and ready for glaze application on September 11, 2001. According to Diane, "I could not imagine any color on the bowls, and decided to leave them pure and white. This would be in honor of the spirit of the victims who died during our national tragedy."
Adam earned a B.A. from Mccalester College, and later an M.F.A in 1999 from Louisiana State University. He currently teaches at The University of Arkansas.
Adam grew up in Macon, Georgia. His great grandfathers were blacksmiths, his grandfather a woodworker, and his mother a studio potter. He as been in numerous exhibitions, and given many lectures at universities including one in Ghana, and one in Taiwan.
Phillip has an M.F.A. in Studio Painting and Critical Theory, and a B.F.A. - Interdisciplinary Arts.
According to Phillip, "I am a Symbolist painter. The paintings are composed of a series of symbolic images that evoke an aesthetic smother and reflect social/cultural narratives." He also says, "My painting style is a uniquely contemporary fusion of Eastern and Western technique that has developed naturally over the past 30 years and derives from my study of Chinese Art and Japanese Art since 1983.
J.D. earned a B.A. in English literature in 1994 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Here, he took his first pottery classes.
In 1997 he moved to Baton Rouge and became a potter for a pottery design firm.
In 20002, J.D. moved to Louisville, Kentucky.
A professional potter for several decades, J.D. is dedicated to exploring the best in modern design. He draws inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from ancient Asian and Greek ceramics to the American Arts and Crafts movement and mid-century modernism. Each piece is created with the simple idea that it be pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to make.
Wood fired sculptures
(d. ?) A history provided by Yellow Fawn: "I am Choctaw/Cherokee. I practice the ways of my grandmothers before me. We ourselves are merely vessels created in the image of our creator, shaped and molded with the spirit of life breathed into us."
Yellow Fawn described the making of her pots saying, "My work is a gift from the Grandmothers to you... for they guide my hands. My pottery is made from clay dug on St. Catherine's Creek, Mississippi, Lake D'Arbonne, Louisiana, and the Ouachita River. The clay is cleaned adding sand, bone, shell, and old pot shards. Each piece island coiled, shaped and designed with no two being alike. Special prayers are sung during the process and each piece of pottery has it's own special prayer inscribed on the bottom. In the spirit of my honorable ancestors, Yellow Fawn."
Ken earned his B.S. in Art Education at Louisiana College, and a M.A. in Painting at Northwestern State University. Today, Ken is a retired school teacher.
The floral designs in Ken's work come from inspiration of the local flora of Louisiana. His classic forms are then decorated with floral designs. Using the sgraffito technique, the design is etched free-hand through the colored surface into the clay.
d.2009. "Miss Pat" as she was so affectionately known wrote this about her sagger fired pots, "Before the pots are fired, each pot is polished (or burnished with a stone. The second firing is done inside a clay pot (or sagger pot) with hay and organic material. The pots are then waxed and buffed. The colors and patterns are from the organic material inside the sagger."
Sandra Patrick wrote a beautiful article about Ms. Pat in the September 2001 issue of Country Roads Magazine. In the article Sandra noted that Ms. Pat was retired from a city service job in Lake Charles, and then decided to take art classes at McNeese, and at the age of 70 began to work with clay.
In the history of Louisiana Pottery, Ms. Pat has been the most popular artist ever and certainly her work sold faster than any other artist to date. Collectors would line up for her work, meeting me at the door upon arrival.
d. 2005. This 17 inch tall, highly carved vase is titled "Spring Glory." It is made of a porcelain clay, and painted with oil paint.
Victoria studied Art at Southeastern Louisiana University from 1980-81, then LSU from 1981-84 receiving a B.S. in Art Education. In 1992 she earned a double B.F.A. in Ceramics and in Drawing/Painting. She taught art, including ceramics in Baton Rouge public high schools from 1984-92. Upon retirement in 1992, she moved to Folsom, LA and constructed a home and studio.
Victoria liked to hand build pottery mostly, and especially enjoyed sculptural vessels. According to Victoria, "I see flowers and people as related, both respond to love and nurturing and will blossom. There is a great need for that in life in general..."
SangDuk earned a B.F.A at Kookmin University in 2001, and his M.F.A. at Louisiana State University in 2005. Presently, he is an Instructor at Kookmin University, Sookmyung Women's University in South Korea.
While in Louisiana earning his M.F.A., SangDuk taught pottery classes at Louisiana Pottery.
According to SangDuk, "The allusive rather than the direct, decoration which is simple not complex, and forms that evoke the natural not the mechanical are what represent my work. Over the years, my work has sought to integrate the conceptual experimentation with technical exploration in ceramic technologies."
(d. 2002) Preston (Press or "Ye Olde Potter") was born in Kansas, but moved to Baton Rouge in 1950 to become The Director of the Chamber of Commerce. He was also V.P. of Business Development at Louisiana National Bank for more than 25 years. He also served on the boards of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and Capital Area United Way, a Boy Scouts Council, and the Salvation Army. Press earned a law degree from The University of Tulsa, then became a licensed meteorologist, and later trained the British Royal Air Force pilots for Pan American Airlines during World War II.
After being retired for 25 years, Press began to experience art forms in clay.
October, November, and December 2019
Thank you to the East Baton Rouge Parish Library on Bluebonnet for allowing me to showcase our Louisiana Artists.
If any other Library or Museum is interested in showcasing this exhibit, please contact
Judy Starrett at Louisiana Pottery
According to Cara: She has a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from LSU. This porcelain bowl was thrown on a pottery wheel, then the shape was cut and altered. The series that this piece is from focused on making, destroying, and finally, making something beautiful from the act of destruction.