Kurt Ross

Artist Statement

Fundamentally my formal architectural training and years of working for architectural firms  have informed my design sensibilities about creating forms, relationships, movement, scale,  and other design elements.  

I envision a piece by making multiple penciled sketches, looking at form, proportion, tripartite division, hierarchy of detail, inventiveness, pottery craft, and traditions. Sometimes, to realize  the vision for what I seek to achieve in a piece, I throw out tradition and replace it with the  initial inspiration that led me to conceive the piece. The result is a vessel that is graceful and  well-proportioned.  

Sometimes I use clays that contain chemical components that offer depth and speckles through  the glazes when fired. The vessels thrown with these clays twist in the kiln because I fire them  beyond the clay’s threshold temperature, resulting in vessels with captivating distortions.  

Lately, the glazes I use have disrupted surfaces after directly applying them to the vessel and  after being kiln-fired. The glaze crawls, cracks, or flakes off from the vessel during both  application and firing processes. I want the glaze to both complement and contrast with my  intent to make a vessel that is graceful, well-portioned, and statuesque.

Artist Bio

I grew up in Pasadena, California where our house sat against the rugged silhouette of the San  Gabriel Mountains. I absorbed the abundance of those natural forms outside and the artistic  ones inside. My father created abstract paintings. One of my older brothers let me help build  his large wooden figurines. My mother crafted hand-drawn floor plans for remodeling our  house and the process inspired me.  

As a gymnast at the collegiate level, I have an awareness and appreciation of our bodies'  capabilities of endless types of movement and expression.  

My architectural education exposed me to the more formal aspects of design that informed my  design sensibilities for residential and commercial structures during my 20-year career.  

In the summer of 2007, I took a pottery class with my 13-year-old daughter, hoping to nurture  her love of artistic craft. She stopped after one session, but I kept going. 

Over the last 17 years, my ceramic work has evolved to focus on form, proportion, tripartite division, hierarchy of detail, inventiveness, pottery craft, and traditions. 

I have had studios in Santa Cruz, CA, and Brooklyn, NY. My current studio is located in Candler  NC, a suburb of Asheville NC, where I share my life with my wife writer Stacey Millett. 

My other interests and pursuits are reading history, building balsa wood rubber-powered  airplanes of the 1920’s and 1930’s, learning Portuguese, and playing video games.