Curriculum Vitae and Biography

Jim Robison

Born and Raised in Missouri, USA. (DOB: 31 December, 1939).

Brief description of work:

Primary focus is the creation of ceramics with sculptural and architectural applications. Often slab-ware vessels, which are individual pieces and sculpture commissions.

Training and education:

Educated in the USA: Initially trained as a Jet Engine Mechanic in the USAF

BA, Major in Fine Art, Graceland College, Iowa
MA. Sculpture and Ceramics, Eastern Michigan University
Elected Fellow of the Craft Potters Association

Selected exhibitions:

William Havu Gallery, denver, Colorado, USA
Missouri State Fair, USA - Exhibition and lecture demonstrations (2000)

Exhibits extensively in the UK and Europe:
Lawrence Batley Centre Gallery, Bretton Hall
St Truiden Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgium
Studio Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum
Contemporary Ceramics Gallery, London
Rufford Craft Centre, Nottinghamshire
Tilbury Gallery, Belgium
Kremple Gallery, Germany
Amphora Gallery, Holland

Other activities:

Set up Studio and home in Yorkshire, England in 1973. Established Booth House Gallery as an exhibition/sales outlet for contemporary ceramics (including many recognised potters as well as his own work) in 1975. Week-long summer courses are offered each year and evening lectures are also held for groups by arrangement.

Commissioned work:

Undertaken for individuals (indoor or outdoor sites), businesses and public organisations. Existing commissions and sites include:
"System World" - Relief sculpture for The School of Mathematics and Computer Studies, Huddersfield University (2000).
"Liverpol Home" - Relief Sculpture for Riverside Housing Association, Liverpool (1999).
"Holmfirth" - Relief sculptures for the entrance foyer of the Civic Hall in his local community of Holmfirth (1998).
Other commission sites include Cambridge, London, Wilmslow, Leicester Wakefield and The Jorvik Viking Museum in York.

Active in Ceramic Groups, he is an Elected Fellow and has served as a council member for the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain. He has also been Chair of the Northern Potters Association, guest lecturer at many art colleges, demonstrator and Master of Ceremonies at the International Festivals of Ceramics at Aberystwyth, Wales. He is part time Senior Lecturer at Leeds University College, Bretton Hall. Also an author, his recent book Large Scale Ceramics (A & C Black, Pub.) has received wide acclaim and illustrates many of his commissioned works. He has also contributed articles to Artists Newsletter, Ceramic Review, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical and Ceramics Monthly. Examples of his work may also be found in several books, including : Sculptural Ceramics by Ian Gregory, and Ash Glazes by Phil Rogers.

Artist's statement:

Current work is influenced by history, environment and process. History as found in geology, (natural processes of rock formation and weathering), and mans' activities, (structures, buildings and social events).

Environment influences include shape, colour and texture of surroundings, to which my Pennine Mountain location contributes much. (Particularly the dark dry stone walls and the patterns created upon the bright green fields).

Process refers to both the act of making (what happens during the manipulation of clay, slip, and glaze always with one eye on the possible effects of firing!) and an awareness of the passage of time, Changes that occur with events of nature and history.

Individual slab pieces are created through a process which includes using an antique mangle to roll and re-roll prepared sheets of clay . This creates broken edges and areas which are stretched and stressed, generating their own feeling of history. Slips, which are painted, combed, sponge printed and stencilled provide contrasting colours and these are emphasised by applications of up to six glazes and the firing in the reduction atmosphere of a large gas kiln.

Commissions often give me the chance to relate to particular locations, events and people, with an inevitable review of ones own place within the context of human activity. A challenge is enjoyed.