Sam Clarkson

Sam Clarkson has been involved in the ceramic arts for over 25 years, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He lives and works in the mountains of Santa Cruz, CA, and teaches ceramics at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. Sam has a BA from Pomona College, an MBA from Presidio School of Management, and an MFA from Penn State University, where he pioneered the use of liquid biofuels in ceramics.
Since 2015 I’ve left almost everything familiar from the previous 23 years in ceramics in order to use the earth near my home to create. This work is woodfired native Santa Cruz Mountain clay: I dig it by hand, drive it home, and process it in my studio. There are minimal additives except for my labor. The clay is not easy to work with. Like the mountains where I live and the ocean where I play, it demands respect and refuses many techniques which are staples in the potter’s art.
Many forms are impossible to make. I cannot insist on shapes or forms from the clay. We collaborate and the clay emphatically weighs in on certain ideas. This work embodies a subtle beauty that will unveil itself with time and use. In the flow of history, ceramic art records human life for eons to all who speak the language of clay. You are witness to a snapshot of one life in one amazing place.

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