biography | statement
Josh DeWeese is a ceramic artist and has been the Resident Director of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana since 1992. DeWeese studied ceramics at Montana State University before going on to receive his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has received several awards for his work, most recently in Form Follows Function, a 2004 national juried exhibition at the Lill Street Art Center in Chicago. DeWeese has exhibited and taught workshops internationally and his work is included in numerous public and private collections.
I am interested in how pots can be used every day to bring art into our lives, enhancing our experience with food, adorning our homes, and providing a necessary ritual to nourish our soul and mind as well as our bodies. I try to make pottery that is successful in several ways; comfortable to use, enjoyable to look at, and interesting to think about.
I’m drawn to the beauty and mystery of high temperature melting and the element of chance that occurs in atmospheric firings. Woodfiring and salt/soda firing are processes where extreme surfaces can be achieved, in the subtle qualities of raw clays and the vibrant depths of a running glaze. I enjoy using this extremity in an appropriate way for making pottery and in bringing the wonder of alchemy and the natural environment to objects used in our daily lives.
Perhaps pottery’s greatest power lies in its association with the human body and with being human. The language of pottery is the language of the body, with necks and feet, bellies and shoulders, and lips to touch our lips. The intimate relationship that develops with use strengthens this association. A personality develops, and the pots become our friends. In this friendship they become reflections of our humanness, and help give meaning to our lives.
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