Chicago, Illinois, 1946
- *First introduced to ceramics through adult education class in Los Gatos, California in 1970.
- *Developed an interest in Southwest Native American ceramic styles which was further enhanced by attending a work shop with Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso in 1976.
- *Relocated to Jacksonville, Oregon and commenced full-time occupation as a studio potter in 1977.
- *Since 1978, John has shown and sold work throughout the United States and Europe
If you are looking for a potter with a fancy pedigree or letters after their name, I am not your guy. I am mainly self taught, flunked every art class I took in school and am probably unteachable.
I was fortunate enough to run into some creative people over the last 40 years of potting to help me find my voice. My dear wife and partner Cathey enrolled us in a pottery class in 1970 and for me it was a whole new world. I had never worked with clay or even thought about pottery as a craft;Roberta Traceder (a student of Herbert Sanders of San Jose State College) was the instructor of the class. Roberta’s refined style and attention to detail has informed my work in ways I can only now understand. To balance Roberta’s influence, there was Thorn Kinsey, aka Sasha Sisafus. Sasha, as he liked to be called, was an existentialist turned hippie (with the help of 60s philosophy and pharmacopoeia). Sasha worked in rainbow hued low fire and pastel chalk under glazes. Suffice it to say, the year I spent in adult education at Los Gatos High was diverse and very enlightening.
The next seminal event in my pottery sojourn came with an edition of Arizona Highways devoted to Southwest pottery, particularly Maria Nampeyo and their family’s works. I found that the designs and shapes worked and sold well in high fire and raku. There are some examples of the early work on the retrospective link of the home page.
Cathey was already an accomplished seamstress and clothes designer, so doing street shows in the San Francisco Bay area was a logical progression that led to quitting a perfectly good job to become … a potter? Selling work and getting the instant feedback on new ideas was the fuel that moved me forward. I am honored to be one of the early craftsmen that came out of this tradition, and still have many dear friends from the experience. In 1977 we moved to Oregon (to the chagrin of our friends and family). “We” being Cathey and me, and our daughters Calley 7 and Tachi 5. We soon opened a gallery and continued to do shows on the West Coast and Southwest. When the bottom fell out of the Southwest market in the late 80s we switched over to a wholesale line of raku floral and decorative pieces that turned out to be a blend of Asian and Southwest design. The fusion was unintentional, but has been very successful. Once again, going with the market has worked out well.
In the late 90s the next change came; because of the demand for high quality ceramic cremation urns, I cultivated a market and developed a specialty in urns for ashes selling through my web site, Etsy, Amazon, and funeral homes. Now we get a fair amount of business from the cyber world, and thank goodness, it’s a much easier way to go.