My surface decorations are inspired by abstract expressionism. The implied gesture, movement, and boldness that abstract expressionism has achieved exhilarates me. Through the use of line and color, I am inspired to create bold and gestural surfaces in my work.
To be a clay artist is to dig deep within, to be patient with the clay and the fire, letting the work and its maker find its voice. Form may follow function at first, yet with time the two become symbiotic, finding no meaning in the absence of the other.
I love the feel of the clay in my hands. I love the thrill of opening my kiln. A beautiful piece of pottery can take my breath away. What else is there to say? Clay is part of me.
All my work is made from stoneware clay and fired to 2400F in a gas kiln.Most of my pots are handthrown on a treadle kick wheel
(some pieces are hand built), decorated with slips and underglazes, altered in various ways and (again)mostly glazed with wood ash glazes.I have been a studio potter since 1985 and a student of clay (still learning) since 1974.
The artists' work is flirty and feminine which takes inspiration from textures, forms and colors common in a woman's life. The artist uses welcoming patterns, feisty forms and bright colors to make inviting work.
Making pots is about evolution. As long as I feel my work is progressing, then I don't worry. Not long ago,I tried to maintain control over surface and glaze.In reaction to that,I have gravitated to a looser way of making pots using glazes that I couldn't control even If I tried.My goal is to keep enough freedom in my work to allow these possibilities to take form.
Process drives my creative journey. I love the feeling of a form rising from a ball of clay, the raging uncertainty in the atmospheric kiln, and the joy of pulling out a successful piece, still cooling, and learning its story.
I have been a full time potter since 1973 and have worked from my rural studio in East Tennessee since 1978. My passion in pottery is to create beautiful, hand made pots that people will use and enjoy in their daily lives.
I see inspiration everywhere I look and keep several sketchbooks going at all times. By sharing techniques and ideas with other artists, gaining inspiration by teaching and taking workshops across the country, I am constantly stimulated and motivated to make art.
John Tobin, Jr.
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC
I find working with clay to be liberating. My previous work in Scientific Illustration required me to be incredibly precise and technical. Working with clay and glazes, I have had to be willing to allow for transience and imperfection.