John Lipsky

Portfolio Categories: Pottery.

It’s a Beautiful Bowl

I built a clay replica of Abu Simbel, the Egyptian temple to Ramses II, in the 4th grade. I still have it.

Clay is a wonderful flexible media that can be molded and shaped infinitely. I was drawn back to it in adulthood after college. My degree was in Television Production and after a short stint at PBS in the mid-west, I returned home in CT to work in the family’s small high tech manufacturing business. High tech and the visual arts didn’t mix too well so I looked for a creative outlet on the side to keep my creative juices flowing. After a few failed attempts with some local theater groups, I found a local pottery class in 1980 and have been with it ever since.

I spent the first 5 years of my pottery ‘career’ on a kick wheel at a small studio in Wilton, CT. After the owner there decided it was time to actually ‘make a living’, I moved up to New Haven to Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) where I was a student for a number of years, then became one of the Studio Potters (similar to a Key Member at Wesleyan Potters), then I became the head Studio Potter. I was often frustrated watching the beginning students struggle with their work. I realized that many teachers may be excellent potters but really weren’t such great teachers. So then I wanted to teach…

A teaching position presented itself at Wesleyan Potters (WesPots) in 1995 for an adult evening class, so I left CAW and I have taught at WesPots ever since. I have now recently also become a Key Member of WesPots and enjoy all of the benefits of being on the faculty and being a member of the co-op and having a ‘key’.

I am a visual person and am attracted to anything that ‘catches my eye’, be it something in nature, or architectural, or in the classical or modern arts . I believe this comes forth in my work. Primarily in high fire stoneware, I am always trying to push my own personal envelop, trying new techniques, new shapes, new colors, new styles. I like to throw big – I guess because I can after 32 years of playing with clay. I try to push my students along to gain success, confidence, and self-discovery in their own work with my First Rule of Pottery – there are no rules.

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