Artist

Welcome to my website and virtual gallery. In 1985 I purchased 40 undeveloped acres in North Central Arkansas, a place called Fox, in the heart of the Ozarks with the intention of living with nature and making art. With the help of my former wife & son I built a cabin with native stone and oak. After nine months of work, not unlike the time for a human embryo to develop, we completed and built our home/studio. The next project was to build a three chambered wood kiln which I felt was needed to achieve the surfaces I desired on my pots, each chamber giving a different aesthetic. In 1986 I established Fox Mountain Pottery and have been earning my livelihood with wood fired pottery ever since. When in the studio and working my primary concern and focus is BEAUTY. I don’t believe there is any one set formula for beauty, but for me being a potter, it seems to require a natural setting, a spiritual practice, a sincerity and yearning, a working with spontaneity and a kiln fueled with wood. Presently I use two wood kilns for expression to bring my efforts to fruition. In 2005 with the assistance of Canadian potter Lee Clark I built a new kiln (see kiln) in order to deliver my vision. This kiln is called an Anagama, which translates to cave or hole kiln, it is half buried underground and measures 40 feet long. It requires ten days of constant attending and ten cords of split pine to achieve the results I seek and to complete one firing. The works from this kiln have a natural glaze, I do not apply glaze to the pots. The color and texture is caused by the climate, age and type of wood being used, atmospheric conditions inside the kiln caused by my intuition and experience in firing the kiln, placement of the works, wood ash from the burning fuel melting into the clay, fire flashing the work and coals being maintained on the pots themselves. The blending of these variables results in endless variety of effects. There can be great risks in wood firing; many elements are at play for success, but the rewards can be deeply satisfying as well. It is challenging and demanding emotionally and physically to control this process. What I find most difficult is to maintain 100% concentration 100% for a ten day firing. By being in harmony with the elements and forces of nature the work becomes a sacrificial offering surrendered to the flames and reborn, it aspires towards the ideal of timeless beauty. In the final analysis, as they say “everything that you are is embodied in the result”, the essence of the person emerges in the effort. For me firing a wood kiln is a meditation, I must focus, concentrate and listen deeply, then I can be in tune. . . the kiln will tell you everything that is needed for success. My goal and ideal is to make objects of beauty that have a transcending quality which can possibly inspire another human being, bring a little joy or add a positive presence to one’s living environment. For me, working with clay and being a fire artist is a vehicle for spiritual growth. One can say that my pots are offerings or prayers and my kiln the temple to manifest them. My work has been recognized through awards, museum exhibitions, collections, publications and film. Spring of 2007 I was honored to have my first one person exhibition at the museum level at the Arkansas Art Center. I’m grateful for the ever-growing recognition I receive, but what is most gratifying is when my efforts to manifest beauty touches the heart of another human being.


Resume:

 

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

  • 1953 Born, Saint Louis, Missouri.
  • 1977 Traveled for nine months through Europe, North Africa and Asia.
  • 1979 – 1980 Attended Meremac Community College, Maryville College and Idaho State University, Pocatello; with residency at Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities.
  • 1986 – 1989 Built a home, studio and three chambered climbing wood-burning kiln on forty acres in Fox, Arkansas.
  • 2004 Built anagama wood-burning kiln.
  • 2008 Invited by master potter Shiho Kanzaki to assist with spring firing in Shigaraki, Japan

FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS

  • 1993 $5,000 Fellowship Grant, Arkansas Art Council.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

  • March 2015
    • Morlan Gallery:  Functional Clay:  works that contain
  •  2013-2014
    • “Glazed with Fire: Ceramics by Joe Bruhin” ( exhibition of natural ash glazed ceramics) Arts & Science Center Pine Bluff Arkansas November 22, 2013 – February 24, 2014
  • 2013
    • Ogden Museum of Southern Art- “The Art of the Cup Invitational”.
  • 2012
    • Shuki: The Intimate Vessel of Sake…An exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics Sake vessels from Japanese and American potters. Vessels Gallery, Boston Massachusetts
    • “Flashpoint, An International Wood-Fire Exhibition” at Plinth Gallery, Denver Colorado
    • Ogden Museum of Southern Art- “The Art of the Cup Invitational”, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2011
    • University of Dallas Regional Ceramic Exhibition
    • Wichita Falls Museum of Art Ceramic Exhibition
  • 2010
    • KC Clay Guild Tea Bowl National
    • Delta Exhibit at Arkansas Art center
  • 2009
    • Friendly Fire Ceramics Juried Exhibit|
    • Foundry Art Center. St. Louis, MO
    • Foundry Art Center Ceramic Invitational
    • Ogden Museum of Southern Art- “The Art of the Cup Invitational”.
  • 2008
    • Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida. Award of Distinction
  • 2007
    • One person museum exhibition at Arkansas Art Center: “Timeless Beauty, Wood Fired Ceramics by Joe Bruhin”
    • Delta Exhibit at Arkansas Art Center, Merit Award.
    • VaseFinder Nationals, Honorable Mention.
  • 2006
    • “Out of the Fire” – invitational wood fire exhibit at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia
    • NUA Art Museum wood fire exhibit, Flagstaff, Arizona
    • VaseFinder Nationals, Second Place.
  • 2004
    • Saint Louis Art Fair, First Place Award.
    • “Naked Truth”, International Juried Wood Fire Exhibition. Catalogue.
  • 2003
    • Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida. Award of Merit.
  • 2001
    • Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase. Best of Show.
  • 2000
    • “Clay/Wood/Fire/Salt” Southern Highland Craft Guild Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina and The Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, Ohio. National Invitational
    • Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase. Best of Show.
  • 1999
    • “Craftart 99”, Tampa, Florida. Award of Excellence. (First Place Award)
    • “Serendipity: The Magic of Woodfired Ceramics” , Chicago, Illinois. National Invitational.
    • “Clay Cup VII” University Museum, SIU, Carbondale, IL. Juried National.
    • “Monarch National Ceramics Competition” Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. Juried National. Ruth Butler, juror.
    • “Born of Ashes: Woodfired Ceramics” AAC Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, AR. National Invitational curated by Alan DuBois.
  • 1998
    • Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase. Best of Show.
    • Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida. Award of Excellence.
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock, Arkansas. Best of Show.
  • 1997
    • Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida. Award of Distinction.
    • Conversations with…Joe Bruhin” AAC Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, AR.
    • “Clay/Wood/Fire/Salt” Contemporary Artifacts Gallery, Berea, KY. National Invitational.
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock, AR. Best of Show.
    • “Art in America, Inaugural Exhibit” The Washington Design Center, Washington, D.C
  • 1996
    • “Clay/Wood/Fire/Salt” ibid. National Invitational
    • Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, ibid. Award of Honor.
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock. AR. Best of Show.
  • 1995
    • “Super Bowls” Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AR. National invitational.
    • Historic Shaw Art Fair, Saint Louis, MO. First Prize – 3 Dimensional.
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock, AR. Best of Show.
  • 1994
    • Highland Art Festival, Sebring, FL. Award of Excellence (First Place)
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock, AR. Best of Show.
  • 1993
    • Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair, Peoria, IL. Purchase Award.
    • “Year of the American Craft Exhibit” Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR.
    • “Year of the American Craft” AAC Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, AR, Purchase. Catalogue.
    • “Touring Exhibition, FY 1993 Fellowship Recipients.” Catalogue.
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Fair, Little Rock, AR. Best of Show.
  • 1992
    • Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair, Peoria, IL. First Place Award – Crafts.
    • “Regional Craft Biennial” AAC Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, AR. Juried regional. Catalogue.
    • Art Fair at Laumeier, Saint Louis, MO. Merit of Excellence. (First Place Award).
    • Riverfest Visual Artists Faire, Little Rock, AR. Best of Show and Juror’s Choice Awards.
  • 1984
    • Two man show (with Amanda Pena). Hog Hollow Art Gallery, Chesterfield, MO.
  • 1983
    • “Vessels Aesthetics” Taft College Art Gallery, Taft, CA. Catalogue.
  • 1982
    • “AMAZING” Group Ceramic Exhibit, Sun Valley Gallery, Ketchum ID.
  • 1981
    • “Ripples…Beginnings” One man show, Essayons Studios Gallery, St. Louis, MO.

COLLECTIONS

  • Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR
  • The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
  • The Arkansas Arts Council, Little Rock, AR
  • Lyons College, Batesville, AR
  • Oklahoma City Art Council, OK
  • Saint Louis Community College, Saint Louis, MO
  • Robin & John Horn Collection
  • June & Edward Freeman
  • Wenonha Faye & Gordon Holl
  • Dr. Rickey Medlock
  • Tom Turnquist
  • Pamela & Stephen Ferrari
  • Numerous private collections around the United States.
  • Robert Shore, Watertown, MA
  • Caroline and Dan Anderson, Edwardsville, IL
  • Jacques Israelievitch, Toronto, Canada
  • Rob Hunter, Williamsburg Virginia
  •  Beth and Mike Coulson, Little Rock, Arkansas

MEDIA AND PUBLICATIONS

  • 2013
    • “Wood-Fired Ceramics: 100 Contemporary Artists”, Amedeo Salamoni, Shiffer Publishing
  • 2010
    • “The Art & Artisans of the Ozarks” pgs 50 – 53
  • 2007
    • Gifts From the Temple, by Charles A Blim Jr.
    • The Fire Artist, by filmmaker Claude Gagnon. Included in the documentary about a Japanese master potter Shiho Kanzaki
    • Timeless Beauty: Wood Fired Ceramics by Joe Bruhin by Anne Gochenor. Brochure
  • 2006
    • “Fire and Passion”, article by Marcia Schnedler in Arkansas Democrat Gazette
  • 2005
    • 500 Cups, Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace
    • First Pottery Fired in Special Kiln Project, article in Stone County Leader
  • 2003
    • 500 Bowls, Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design pp. 28 &83
  • 1999
    • Born of Ashes: Woodfired Ceramics, Alan DuBois, pp. 16-17
  • 1998
    • The Ceramic Design Book, Lark Brooks p. 42
  • 1994
    • “Reflections on Wood Firing”, an article by Terri Bruhin in Ceramics Monthly.
    • “Travels in the Ozarks, A Sense of Place”, an article by Gerry Williams in Studio Potter.
  • 1993
    • Craft in America: Celebrating the Creative Work of the Hand. by P. George, pp. 14-17
    • Arkansas: Year of the American Craft 1993 by Alan DuBois, pp. 12-13.
    • “Couple Enjoys Artistic Work”, article by Anne Littrell in Stone County Leader.
  • 1992
    • KTHV Channel 11 Little Rock “Traveling Arkansas”
    • “The Serendipitous Kiln of Joe Bruhin” article by Erlene Carter in The Ozarks Mountaineer.
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