ART

BAKER%2C+WILLIAM

BAKER, WILLIAM
BAKER, WILLIAM
NORTH CAROLINA
From concept to design to final firing, my process for making functional pottery requires an intimate relationship with both preparation and chance. I embrace the challenge of creating a smooth surface free of unintentional marks. This element of control is balanced by the unknowns of firing in a wood and soda kiln. People who use my pottery on a daily basis also engage intimately with the work. This final act of appreciation
enhances its beauty and brings my creative process full circle.

I make lidded jars, small bowls and plates, keepsake boxes, oval vases, dinner plates, cups, and large vessels with specific attention to minimalist surfaces that curve and swell into sturdy, yet elegant, functional pottery. Ranging in size from several inches tall to nearly a foot-and-a-half, this work always features one or more of my signature design elements: squared panels and corners that emerge softly from full-bodied curves; fat, square knobs that balance atop squared lids; or lipped bases and rounded rims that complete a form to its very edges.

These features enable me to create interesting surfaces perfect for highlighting natural colors that result from firing. As each piece is fired, it is subject to the whim of wood ash, flame, and soda vapor. The result is a one-of-a-kind visual landscape: varied tones of deep red, soft peach, light cream, bronze, olive green and muted gray spread and overlap naturally, fading and intensifying in swatches and pools. Up close, some pieces appear dappled or freckled in layers of color. From afar, surface patterns evoke a solar field, layers of soil, or bright patches of rock. In the end, the combination of intentionally crafted forms and an uncontrolled atmosphere for surface design brings my work to life.

ARTIST RESIDENCIES/EXPERIENCE
2010-Present
Resident Artist, EnergyXchange, Burnsville, NC
2005-Present
Studio Potter, Bakersville, NC
2002-2004
Resident Artist, Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts, Asheville, NC

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2012
Ceramics Instructor, Soda Firing, Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts, Asheville, NC
2010
Visiting Artist, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
-Two-day demonstrations of forming techniques, public presentation
2010
Kiln Building
-designed and built a cross draft soda kiln for the Odyssey Center
2010
Ceramics Instructor, Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts, Asheville, NC
-A nine week course on kiln building theories and practices, learning to fire a soda kiln
2003-2005
Ceramics Instructor, Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts
-designed and taught several 9 week courses at various levels, including beginning and intermediate wheel-throwing, as well as courses on the process of pit-firing
and on the process of salt-glazing.

ASSISTANTSHIPS
Studio assistant, Penland School of Crafts:
2011
Kiln Building Workshop with Shane Mickey
2009
Kiln Building Workshop with Shane Mickey
2007
Soda-Glazing Summer Workshop with Gay Smith and Ruthanne Tudball
2006
Kiln Building Workshop with Shane Mickey
2005
Fall Clay Concentration, Salt and Soda Firing with Linda McFarling and Gay Smith

EDUCATION
2000
Bachelor of Arts with Honors, International Political Economy University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington

SELECTED EXHIBITION
2012
"Generosity of Spirit: The Gifts of Penland Artists", Signature Shop and Gallery, Atlanta, GA
"Yunomi Invitational", AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2011
"Mark of the Fire", dual exhibition with Joy Tanner, Pottery 101 Gallery, Salisbury, NC
"Shared Spaces", dual exhibition with Joy Tanner, Roswell Art Center, Roswell, GA
"Atmopspheric Fired", juried exhibition, Carbondale Clay Center, Carbondale, CO
"Dining with Frank", invitational exhibition, FRANK Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC
"Yunomi Invitational", AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
“Models of Sustainability”, invitational exhibition, Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, NC
“Current Residence”, invitational exhibition, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
"Fresh", invitational exhibition, Schaller Gallery, Benton Harbor, MI
"Spruce Pine Potters Market Invitational", Spruce Pine, NC
2010
"Burnt" invitational exhibition, Schaller Gallery, Red Lodge, MT.
"Winter Show" invitational exhibition, Green Hill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC.
“Strictly Functional Pottery National”, juried exhibition, Lancaster, PA.
"Salt/Soda National", juried exhibition, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT
“Four By Four”, invitational exhibition, Pottery NorthWest, Seattle, WA
“Asheville in the Bull City”, invitational exhibition at Claymakers, Durham, NC.
“Containment” A Group Exhibition of Ceramic Boxes, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC
“North Carolina Pottery Show and Sale”, invitational exhibition, Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, GA
"MudFire Holiday Studio Sale”, invitational exhibition, MudFire Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2009
"Spruce Pine Potters Market Invitational", Spruce Pine, NC
“Art of the Cup: Functional Comfort” invitational exhibition, Ogden Museum of the South, New Orleans, LA.
2008
“Wood-Fired Clay From the NC Mountains” invitational exhibition, Hand in Hand Gallery, NC.
“Contemporary Clay Biennial 2008” juried exhibition, Western Colorado Center for the Arts.
“17th National Ceramic Competition”, juried exhibition, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, San Angelo, TX.
2007
“Clay: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth”, juried exhibition, Xiem Gallery, Pasadena, CA.
“Asheville In Atlanta” invitational exhibition, MudFire Gallery, Atlanta, GA.
“Strictly Functional Pottery National”, Lancaster, PA, juried exhibit.
“Put A Lid On It”, juried exhibit, MudFire Gallery, Atlanta, GA,.
2005
“Salt, Soda, and Slip”, invitational exhibition, Baltimore Clayworks in conjunction with the annual NCECA conference.

AWARDS AND GRANTS
2012
Merit Award, Fall Celebration for the Arts Exhibition, Toe River Arts Council, Spruce Pine, NC
2009
Best of Show, Weaverville Art in Autumn, Weaverville, NC
2007
Regional Project Artist Grant, Toe River Arts Council, Burnsville, NC

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
Southern Highland Craft Guild
Toe River Arts Council