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Call or email me anytime with questions or to schedule a time to visit my studio.

952-200-4734
rlbriscoe@gmail.com

1225 Lasalle #1005

Minneapolis, MN  55403 


Studio address:

435 Main St.  (not a mail address)

Clearwater, MN  55320

studio phone:  320-558-1119

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Biography

Creating functional, simple pottery is what I've done for fifty years. I was born in Kansas City, Kansas and received a BS in Economics from Kansas State University. In 1967, I apprenticed with James Vandergriff in Zarah, Kansas, then with Lou and Al Wynne outside of Colorado Springs.

In 1987, I received an award from the Jerome Foundation and in 2001and 2007 I was the recipient of a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships. My work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, 500 Bowls and The Art of Contemporary Pottery.

Process

Design

My forms are based on utility. The ultimate end use dictates much of my thinking in the initial design phase.

My pottery originates almost entirely at the potter's wheel. I normally do not sketch a new idea – I sit down and try to form it at the wheel.

One goal I have always worked for is to create forms that when fired, clearly reflect that they started from a very pliable material.

Throwing

I use fairly soft stoneware clays for forming pottery. I like the feel of soft clay in my hands: it seems more organic. Throwing soft clay takes some getting used to, but once I made the transition, I learned to love the quick response when working with the less dense material. Soft clay requires intense attention during the forming process; slight mistakes quickly become failures.

I work quickly at the wheel moving rapidly from pot to pot. I like to getting into a flow of one pot informing and evolving into the next one.

Altering

The wheel is just the start of creating the ultimate form. I can alter the forms at any of various stages in the drying process.

Often I work to change the pot's initial shape at the wheel in its wet state, because I feel that this gives a greater sense of plasticity in the final pot. I manipulate pots from their initial round shape using boards for paddling, denting and bending.

Very aggressive form shapes can be created by almost completely flattening or elongating a cylinder.

I sometimes use tools for fluting or faceting. For some pots, this is done while they are still very wet. For others, I wait until the clay has become more dense.

Texture on the surface of pots is another technique used to enliven the form.

Trimming

Some forms are designed with very minimal trimming in mind.

Others require a trimmed foot and/or the addition of handles. The pot dictates the level of finishing needed.

Bisque

I bisque at relatively low temperatures – 1680 degrees Fahrenheit – which I believe allows for better adherence of the slips and glazes to follow. I use electric kilns for this process.

Glazing

My surface aesthetic is focused on ash glazes. Ash glazes are both a forgiving and an extremely stern task master. Ash glazes present a steep learning curve. Once you have a handle on their use, they are wonderfull to work with, are fluid, unpredictable, and expressive.

I use colored slips under the ash glaze to create variability in the surface, altering color, texture, and contrast. I use slips as a device for articulating and understanding the elements of the form – the marriage of slips and glazes has been a keystone in my aesthetic surface development.