James McNeill

Clay and ceramics are enigmatic to me. We’ve quantified and defined the science of it but it’s still a mystery how we arrive at the final product many times. We are made up of much of the same material that exists in a lump of clay. As the physicists say “ We are all star stuff”.

Having worked in engineering and technical fields all my life I get the best of both worlds through my experience with clay. I get to express myself as an artist and learn about all that needs to happen before I can take a simple tea cup out of a kiln and use it.

Starting around 1993 I began taking classes in an art center in upstate New York. Since then I’ve been engaged in all forms of pottery and ceramics. Moving to Indianapolis in 1996 I found a great resource in the Indianapolis Art Center. I attended and monitored classes and instructed classmates as an assistant for ten years before moving to Baltimore. My final project there was to be part of a team that built a woodfire train kiln for the center.

I’ve done both Raku and high fire functional and art pottery and enjoy both processes. Porcelain and stoneware clays are the primary clays I’ve used and enjoyed. Now the Potter’s Guild will allow me to explore different glazes, clays and processes. A new horizon in learning!

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