John Martin, Berea, KY
John Martin has lived in Kentucky from the time he was four and began working in clay in high school. His interest was so great that his art teacher allowed him to take a potter’s wheel home during the summer to practice. John completed a B.F.A. in ceramics from Western Kentucky University and an M.F.A. in ceramics from Southern Illinois University in 1993.
It was at Western Kentucky University that John Martin first learned about Raku. Raku is a firing method developed by the Japanese. The pottery is brought to an orange-yellow heat in a kiln, removed quickly from the fire and then plunged into water or placed into a pit dug into the ground containing combustible material. The hot pot hits the material and burns – then the pit is covered to cause smoke – which gets trapped in the glaze and changes the color of the glaze. This method of firing often utilized by Martin, gives an unusually soft and colorful finished surface to his pottery.
Martin has been a full-time studio potter for over 20 years. John and his family enjoy living in the Appalachian foothills outside of Berea.
John’s work can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.