Jim Robison was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, USA. He holds a BA with a major in Fine Arts from Graceland College, Iowa and an MA in Sculpture and Ceramics from Eastern Michigan University. In 1972, he moved to Yorkshire, Great Britain, where he established the Booth House Gallery and Ceramics Studio in 1975. Robison was Head of Ceramics at Leeds University College, Bretton Hall, from 1974 to 2001, and he has demonstrated and lectured extensively in areas of making, marketing, exhibitions and education. He is an elected Fellow of the British Craft Potters Association, former Chair of the Northern Potters Association and, since 1993, Master of Ceremonies at the Aberystwyth International Ceramics Festival in Wales. He is a frequent contributor to ceramics publications and the author of Large Scale Ceramics (2nd Edition published by the American Ceramic Society in 2005). He is a co-author with Ian Marsh of a new book, Slab Building Techniques, published in 2010 by A & C Black.Robison finds inspiration in his Pennine Mountain environment and in the dry stone walls and fields that characterize that part of the world. He exhibits widely and has produced public commissions including murals and sculptures in Yorkshire, Cambridge and Liverpool. His large-scale works are constructed with slabs, decorated with slips, stencils and textures and reduction-fired in a gas kiln. Influenced by both geological and human history, his current work explores the effects of natural processes such as rock formation and weathering, and evidence of human activity in the form of structures, buildings and social activities.
In addition to discussing his own work, Robison will discuss the recent British Ceramics Biennale in Stoke-on-Trent, developments in ceramic education and the importance of collections and collectors. On this last point, he will discuss the Bill Ismay Collection at the York Art Gallery. Ismay was a Yorkshire librarian who assembled one of the world’s largest and best collections of twentieth-century ceramics in his small terraced house in Wakefield. He began collecting in 1955, often cycling around the countryside to meet with local potters. By the time he died in 2001, Ismay’s collection numbered some 3,500 pots collected from over 500 potters including Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, William Staite Murray and Shoji Hamada.
Jim Robison’s lecture will take place at 7:00, Friday, March 23, in Room 245, North Building, Emily Carr Univeristy. We look forward to seeing you there.
Note: For more on Jim Robison, please see his website at www.boothhousegallery.co.uk/index.htm