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Artist Statement

My full time studio work in clay began shortly after graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1980 with a degree in art studio, with an emphasis in ceramics. After more than 20 years of making functional work on the potters wheel in both stoneware and porcelain, as well as spending some time developing glazed surfaces in earthenware, I began working full time in raku in 1999.

My early work in raku emphasized strong forms with simple lines, and creating visual intrigue and movement with glazed surfaces. Organic patterns became an early dominant motif.

Eventually, experimenting led to throwing and splattering glazes, and drawing lines with glaze using a squeeze bottle. That led to a new direction where glazed surfaces became more expressive and captured energy, spontaneity and emotion on another level. Abstract glazed surfaces resembled abstract paintings where glazes that were spontaneously splattered, thrown, dripped and trailed interacted with fire during the raku firing, leaving an interesting pattern of flame marks on the pieces.

Additionally, I have a new series of work which was made using my finger, dipped in glaze, to make patterns of dots. It has resulted in compositions of glazed surfaces which show visual intrigue, movement, and visual depth with an added element of interest that is the result of the randomness of the firing process since raku represents the ultimate corroboration between fire, water, and earth (and sometimes the wind).

John Turner

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