Invited by A. Blair Clemo
OC: Where is your current studio (city, state)?
BJ: Pocosin Arts in Columbia North Carolina
OC: How long have you been working in clay?
BJ: I have been working in clay for about a decade.
OC: Can you share a bit about your education or background?
BJ: I was born and raised in Arizona. I studied at Northern Arizona University and got a bachelors degree in Sociology and a bachelors of fine art in ceramics. Between undergrad and grad school I worked and apprenticed at a ceramic studio in the Netherlands and completed a residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center in 2014. I went on to obtain a Masters in Fine Art in ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University and am currently a long term resident at Pocosin Arts in North Carolina.
OC: What do you feel is your role as an artist?
BJ: There are several roles that are important for myself as an artist/maker. I feel that our community can be rather insular; it’s easy to get comfortable with a specialized language and a specific dialogue around the work that we make. I think part of our roles as makers is to help the general population, young and old, to better understand what and why we do what we do. In hopes that they can not only better understand and enjoy the work, but also so that they can more fully appreciate and support what and why we do what we do.
I think another important role for artists/makers is to support one another. With the nature of what we do we are often spending so much time alone in the studio. That in conjunction with an often undefined career path and the ebb and flow of self-doubt can become daunting. With that in mind I think it is especially important that we really work at motivating, supporting and taking care of one another.
To find out more about Ben, please visit his website: