Jim Robison’s work is primarily ceramic sculpture – including small and large individual pieces, slab-ware vessels, and public commissions.
Brief description of work:
Primary focus is the creation of ceramics with sculptural and architectural applications. Often slab-ware vessels, which are individual pieces and sculpture commissions.
Current work is influenced by history, environment and process:
- History – as found in geology, (natural processes of rock formation and weathering), and man’s activities (structures, buildings and social events).
- Environmental influences include the shape, colour and texture of surroundings, to which my Pennine Mountain location contributes much (particularly the dark dry stone walls and the patterns created upon the bright green fields).
- Process refers to both the act of making (what happens during the manipulation of clay, slip, and glaze – always with one eye on the possible effects of firing!) and an awareness of the passage of time, changes that occur with events of nature and history. Individual slab pieces are created through a process, which includes using an antique mangle to roll and re-roll prepared sheets of clay. This creates broken edges and areas, which are stretched and stressed, generating their own feeling of history.
Slips are painted, combed, sponge printed and stencilled onto the clay providing contrasting colours and these are emphasised by applications of up to six glazes and the firing in the reduction atmosphere of a large gas kiln.
Commissions often give me the chance to relate to particular locations, events and people, with an inevitable review of one’s own place within the context of human activity. A challenge is enjoyed.
Undertaken for individuals (indoor or outdoor sites), businesses and public organisations.
Existing sites include: Cambridge, London, Wilmslow, Wakefield , Jorvik Viking Museum in York, and relief sculptures for the entrance foyer of the Civic Hall in the local community of Holmfirth.
Other selected sites include:”System World” – Relief sculpture for The School of Mathematics and Computer Studies, Huddersfield University (2000)n and “Liverpol Home” – Relief Sculpture for Riverside Housing Association, Liverpool (1999).
Curriculum Vitae and Biography
Born and Raised in Missouri, USA. (DOB: 31 December, 1939).
Set up Studio and home in Yorkshire, England in 1973. Established Booth House Gallery as an exhibition/sales outlet for contemporary ceramics (including many recognised potters as well as his own work) in 1975.
Training and education:
Educated in the USA: Initially trained as a Jet Engine Mechanic in the USAF
- BA, Major in Fine Art, Graceland College, Iowa
- MA. Sculpture and Ceramics, Eastern Michigan University
- Elected Fellow of the Craft Potters Association
- William Havu Gallery, denver, Colorado, USA
- Missouri State Fair, USA – Exhibition and lecture demonstrations (2000)
Exhibits extensively in the UK and Europe:
- Lawrence Batley Centre Gallery, Bretton Hall
- St Truiden Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgium
- Studio Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum
- Contemporary Ceramics Gallery, London
- Rufford Craft Centre, Nottinghamshire
- Tilbury Gallery, Belgium
- Kremple Gallery, Germany
- Amphora Gallery, Holland
Active in Ceramic Groups, he is an Elected Fellow and has served as a council member for the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain. He has also been Chair of the Northern Potters Association, guest lecturer at many art colleges, demonstrator and Master of Ceremonies at the International Festivals of Ceramics at Aberystwyth, Wales. He was a Senior Lecturer at Leeds University College, Bretton Hall until his retirement from University.
Also an author, his books have received wide acclaim and illustrate many of his commissioned works. He has also contributed articles to Artists Newsletter, Ceramic Review, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical and Ceramics Monthly. Examples of his work may also be found in several books, including : Sculptural Ceramics by Ian Gregory, and Ash Glazes by Phil Rogers.