As a potter, I reflect upon many things that influence my work everyday. With an early interest in clay, through the exposure to my grandfather and father's work, I had a curiosity of creating something consistent with my family's work. With hundreds of pots on the shelves of my grandparents' and parents' homes, I asked many questions of why these pots were so much a part of our lives. I studied each one as different lesson for the day. Many of the forms that granddad made were influenced by other cultures: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian as well as early English. Among many cultures, my grandfather found a common element of simplicity in form, design and color. My grandfather often said: "It is easy to make things complicated but hard to keep things simple." I find it a daily challenge to follow his advice in a world where instant gratification is a common expectation. Through encouragement from my father and his expertise in glazing and firing kilns, I continued creating new work after school and on weekends.

Today, many of my pots reflect the simplicity of my forefathers' work. Some of the latest works, however, illustrate the evolution of modern creativity. For instance, the common form of an egg vase is altered with lines to form a melon vase. The common form of a bowl is altered by using the inside surface as a canvas for carving. Texturing the surface with a saw blade to manipulate the glaze during the firing alters the common shape of a vase.

I grew up firing pots in a wood kiln because it was so much a part of the process in our family pottery. Today I fire with gas and electricity for convenience but still prefer the effects of firing in my wood kilns. The color and texture are affected by the many variables. With smoke, flame and ash manipulated during the firing, a wide range of results are discovered in each firing.

It is a goal to honor my past while creating a vision for the future. All the while, remembering my grandfather's advice, "Keep it simple, son. Keep it simple."


1989-1993 Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
1987-1989 Undergraduate Liberal Arts coursework, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, N.C.
(Instructor in Ceramics Department)
1984-1987 Apprenticeship with Ben Wade Owen Jr., Ben Owen Pottery, Seagrove, NC
1977-1983 Apprenticeship with Ben Owen Sr., Old Plank Road Pottery, Seagrove, NC

Travels to Australia and New Zealand to visit potters, 1999.
IWCAT Cultural Exchange Program, Tokoname, Japan, 1995.
Resident Potter, The Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, GA, June 6-July 8, 1994.

Speaker, Mint Museum Craft & Design, Charlotte, NC, 2002, 1998, 1995.
Keynote Speaker, Questers International Convention, Research Triangle Park,
NC, 2002.
Keynote speaker, North Carolina Art Educators Annual Conference, 2002.
Panelist, Pyrochromatics: an International Symposium on Color, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, October 5-10, 1999.

Pocosin Art Center, Columbia, NC, 2002.
Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC, 2004, 2001,1997,1994 Odessey Art Center, Asheville, NC, 2001.
Functional Ceramics 2000, Wooster, Ohio, April 2000.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, July 18-30, 1999.
Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC, July 19-August 4, 1998.

Named “North Carolina Living Treasure” by Randall Library, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, 2004.
Personal photograph featured in 2004 edition of North Carolina state road map.
Governor’s Business Awards in the Arts and Humanities, commissioned to make awards by Governor of North Carolina, Jim Hunt, 2000.
Outstanding Senior Award, School of Art, East Carolina University, 1993.
Recipient, two Gold Key in Scholastic Art Awards, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 1987.

Solo Exhibitions
Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC. Solo exhibition, A Natural Influence: New Works by Ben Owen III, Feb 6-May 2, 2004.
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery Shows, Asheville, NC: Heritage and Innovation, September 2-October 30, 2004; Tradition and Transition, August 31- October 27, 2001;
Ben Owen III, August 1998.
Ariodante, New Orleans, LA, Ben Owen III, September 11-30, 1999.
Berman Gallery, Atlanta, GA, Ben Owen I & III, February-March 1996.
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, Built Upon Honor, June-December 1995.
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA, Ben Owen III, Potter, December 1994-
April 1995.
Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC, Ben Owen III, 1994.
St. John's Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC, 1994.

Group Exhibitions
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, The Potter’s Eye, October 30, 2005-March 19, 2006.
Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC, National Teapot Show VI, June 2005;
A Celebration of Excellence, August 1998.
Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO, NC Pottery, September 12-October 20, 2003.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Clay, April 12–June 15, 2003.
Traveling Exhibit, NC Clay Past & Present, March 2001- December 2002: Bank of America, Charlotte NC; Gallery of Art & Design, Raleigh, NC; Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC; Museum of Art, Hickory, NC; Museum of Art, Greenville, NC; Museum of Art, Fayetteville, NC; North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC.
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery Shows, Asheville, NC:
Hot Ice III Teapots & Pitchers, March 1-April 20, 2002; Silver Celebration, November 1997; Hot Ice Teapot & Pitchers, August 1997; Wood Fired Pottery, September-November 1996; The Ethereal Soul, April-June, 1996; Hot-Ice Teapot Show, August 1994; Clay 94, April-July, 1994.
Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, GA, Jugtown Area Show, 1994-2002; 1992-1993.
Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, October 2001.
Pinch Gallery, Northampton, MA, Teapots Transformed: The Studio Potters,
June 2001.
Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH, Clay/Wood/Fire/Salt, February 11-
April 8, 2001.
Immaculata College, Immaculata, PA, Art Show, February 3-February 11, 2001.
Rocky Mount Arts Center, Rocky Mount, NC, January 13-February 11, 2001; Vessels: half full/half empty, January 3-24, 1999; 42 Artists, 42 Years, February1997; 1984.
Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster PA, Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibit, April 14-June 11, 2000; May 1993.
Gallery of Art and Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, The New Heritage of North Carolina Pottery, April 6-June 4, 2000.
The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa, Different Stokes, September 11-December 26, 1999.
Lil Street Gallery, Chicago IL, Serendipity: The Magic of Woodfire Ceramics, October 9-November 7, 1999.
Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Premeditated Function: The Corsaw Collection of American Ceramics, September 24, 1998-February 4, 1999.
Gallery WDO, Charlotte, NC, October 1998; 3 Potters, June 1997; New Visions, October 1995.
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, Ceramic Art, February-May 1997.
Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA, Built Upon Honor, February 1996.
Tokoname Ceramic Exhibition, Tokoname, Japan, August 1995.
Cera Gallery, Tokoname, Japan, IWCAT Workshop Show, August 1995.
NC Museum of History, Raleigh, NC, New Ways for Old Jugs, June 1995.
Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC, Craft of the Carolinas, 1994.
Wayne Center of the Arts, Wooster, OH, Functional Ceramics, 1994.
McKissick Museum, Columbia, SC, New Ways for Old Jugs, July 1994.
Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston, SC, Craft of the Carolinas, 1993.

UNC, Lifetime Achievement Award, James Taylor, 2006
UNC, Lifetime Achievement Award, N.C. Symphony, 2006
UNC-TV, gifts to North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley, 2002-2005.
Governor's Office of North Carolina, executive gifts for dignitary guests from Japan and Sweden, 1995-1997.
Tom Seleck, 1997; Elton John, 1993; Elizabeth Taylor, Perry Como, 1985;
Bob Hope 1984.
Executive Office of U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, Christmas, 1983.

Museum Collections
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA.
Mint Museum of Art and Craft and Design, Charlotte, NC.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Art, Alfred, NY.
Ceramics Monthly collection, Westerville, OH.
Ogden Museum of Art, Ogden, LA.
North Carolina Governor’s Mansion, Raleigh, NC
North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC.

WUNC-TV, Channel 4, PBS, Featured artist, Pottery Live 2002-2006; North Carolina People, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000; NC Now, Chapel Hill, NC, 1994, 1995.
PBS, Antiques Road Show, December 2003.
FOX8-TV, Channel 8, In Touch, High Point, NC, 1997.
WGHP-TV, Channel 8, ABC, Roy's Folks, High Point, NC, 1995.
ABC, Good Morning America, New York, NY, November 16, 1995.
WTVD-TV, Channel 11, ABC, Prime Time Sunday, Durham, NC, November 1994.

Ceramics Monthly, Cover Article (Ben Owen III Potter), November 2005, November 2004, December 1996, March 1996, September 1993.
Boston Globe, July 2005; May 29, 1994.
East, The Magazine of East Carolina University, Cover Article, Fall Issue,
December 2004.
New York Times, Sunday, October 24, 2004; April 10, 2001.
Los Angeles Times, Sunday, June 13, 2004.
Bon Appetit Magazine, November 2003.
Washington Post, June 9, 2002; February 14, 1996.
Atlanta Journal & Constitution, April 1999; February 2 & 10, 1996; January 1, 1995; June 24, 1994.
Clay Times, November/December 1998, May 1996.
Smithsonian Magazine, October 1998.
Studio Potter, December 1997.
American Craft Magazine, April 1995.
Chicago Tribune, October 5, 1986.
USA Today, February 29, 1984.

The Potter’s Eye, Nancy Sweezy and Mark Hewitt, October 2005.
Ben Owen III, A Natural Influence, Phyllis Blair Clark, Louise Cameron Wells Art Museum, Wilmington, NC, February 2004.
North Carolina Pottery: The Collection of the Mint Museums, Barbara Stone Perry, UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 2004.
Setting Up Your Ceramic Studio, Virginia Scotchie, Lark Books, 2003.
The Penland Book of Ceramics: Master Classes in Ceramic Techniques;
Lark Books, 2003.
North Carolina, North Carolina public school textbook, 1998.
Wheel-Thrown Ceramics, Don Davis, Lark Books, 1998.
Grit, American Life and Traditions, November 16, 1997.

American Craft Council, 1993-2005.
First National Bank, Asheboro, NC, Board of Directors 1999-2005.
North Carolina Pottery Center, member, Board of Directors 1996-1999, 2002-2003.
Public Education Foundation for Moore County Schools, Southern Pines, NC, 2001-2003