ContainmentI have picked up, moved, shaped,
Jack Troy is a potter, teacher, and writer, from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he taught at Juniata College for 39 years. Introduced to clay in 1962, he has taught more than 185 workshops in the U. S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain.
He has worked at the Institute of Ceramic Studies, Jingdezhen, China; and was an invited artist at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, in Japan. His education in ceramics has included trips to 13 countries.
Having published over 60 articles in ceramics publications, he is also the author of Salt Glazed Ceramics (1977), Woodfired Stoneware and Porcelain (1995), and Calling the Planet Home, [poems] (2003). His work has been exhibited widely, and is in numerous collections, public and private.
11 exhibitions. Most recently, “Strictly Functional Ceramics National,” Lancaster, PA, 2002.
KILNS DESIGNED AND BUILT:
8 salt kilns, 9 reduction kilns, 2 raku kilns, and 7 anagamas
Writing about ceramics is a way to bridge what we make and the effect that making has on us. My first book, Salt Glazed Ceramics (Watson-Guptill, 1977), challenged me to articulate my passion for that process by researching, organizing, and sharing information with others at a time when there was little or nothing to read on the subject. Wood-Fired Stoneware and Porcelain (Chilton, 1995) answered a similar need. While both books are now out of print and available through book-dealers on the internet, they were my contribution to the powerful urge many writers have to enlarge our understanding of what we do, while laying the groundwork for better books in the future.
My articles and poems are written from a more personal perspective, and perhaps are the equivalent of drawings that fill the sketchbooks of so many potters and ceramic artists. While they were developing their 2-d skills, I was grading papers as an English teacher, and, in effect, teaching myself to write.
"I feel extremely fortunate to have discovered a field of work that offers ample opportunities for enticing and stimulating our curiosity about materials and processes so we can use them to expressive and aesthetic ends." That quotation is something I can tell you. What I write is my way of showing you what I mean.
I taught for 39 years at Juniata College, originally (1967) directing the freshman composition program and teaching American literature and writing, then from 1972-2006 I became part-time and taught ceramics in the art department. Teaching helped me keep learning and gave me a ringside seat at the art arena, where people amaze themselves and others by using clay to make their dreams (and occasionally their nightmares) come true.
I enjoyed thinking up ways for people to exercise their originality while they gained an understanding of the science, craft and art of ceramics. The link above shares a few of my favorite assignments. Teaching several workshops each year keeps what I know from just informing what I make; it's a way to maintain an ongoing dialogue with others about why and how we are challenged and fulfilled by our work in clay.
I usually do 4-6 workshops per year, some of which are hands-on and involve firings. If you are interested in participating in one of these, or booking me 6 months to one year ahead, please contact me.
I have taught more than 222 workshops at such places as the 92nd Street Y in New York, Penland School of Crafts, Laloba Ranch Clay Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the American Ceramic Society’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and many college and university art departments.
I believe that good pots have timeless, dynamic qualities that outlast their makers. An awareness of historical pots and the people who made them can be a rich source of inspiration for what we make. How can we invest and discover such goodness in our work? In my workshops I often include a slide talk drawing from the 20,000-year heritage of potters to relate our own quest for meaningful pots to some of the accomplishments of earlier ceramists.
1961 B.S. West Chester State College, West Chester, Pa.
1962 Philadelphia College of Art, night school.
1965-66. Alfred University Graduate School Summer Session, Alfred, NY.
1967 M.A. in English and Art, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
1969 Glassblowing scholarship, Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME.
1991 Participant, IWCAT Workshop, Tokoname, Japan.
1991 Participant, International Ceramics Symposium, Jurmala, Latvia.
1992 Collaborative work with Masayasu Ishihara, Neba, Nagano, Japan.
1996 Participant, Ceramics in China, at Jingdezhen, Univ. WVA.
1999 Visiting Artist, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shigaraki, Japan,
2000. Residency, Rufford Ceramic Centre, Nottinghamshire, England.
OCCUPATIONS; PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT;
1961-65 Nether Providence High School, Wallingford, Pa. Teacher of English.
1965-6 Colegio Nueva Granada, Bogota, Colombia.
1966-7 Resident Counselor, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
1970-71 Visiting Professor of Ceramics, Kent State University.
1986 Visiting Professor, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
1967-1972 Asst. Professor of Art (ceramics), Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA.
National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts, 1968-present.
- 9 in New Zealand,
- 5 in Australia,
- 2 in Scotland,
- 4 in England.
In 2006-7: Greenwich House Pottery NYC; Mt Hood CC, Gresham OR; Tucson Museum of Art, AZ; Mary Anderson Center, Saint Francis, IN; Harrisburg Area Comm. Coll. Harrisburg, PA.
REGIONAL AND NATIONAL JURIED SHOWS
70. Most recently, Strictly Functional Ceramics National, Lancaster, PA 2005.
National Juried Wood Fired Exhibition, Thrown Together Gallery, Louisville, KY.
“Feats of Clay,” Lincoln, CA.
Australia, China, Colombia, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland.