American ceramist Bill Abright studied under Bruce Duke at San Joaquin Delta College, receiving an AA in 1970 and at San Francisco State University, earning a BA in 1973 and an MA in 1974. He has taught at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California since 1975 and has been the Chairman of Fine and Visual Arts since 1997. He was awarded the Hayward Award for Excellence in Education by the College of Marin Academic Senate in 1996.
Left: Bill Abright in the Studio. Photo by Charles Kennard
|All Apart of Me, Soda-fired constructed ceramic w/steel base, 2001.
18 in w. x 63 in h. x 12 in d.
|The Nose I¹d Choose to Lose, Soda fired constructed ceramic w/ steel base, 2001.
16 in w. x 63 in h. x 10 in d.
Abright’s sculptures are constructed post-firing by combining related elements with adhesives into a cohesive whole, and are finished with a variety of media, including glaze, steel, paint and pencil.
Inspired by Paleobiology, his work focuses on animal forms, fish, insects and the human figure, often morphing species or combining elements from different biological sources.. He has been a member of NCECA since 1978.
My process is one of exploring my own imagination. I will initiate a form with deliberate intent; however, it is always the unexpected discovery that I hope will occur. Clay surfaces are my canvases yet my forms contain space and I open them up and use their interiors to add complexity and depth. I am ever curious about what’s inside and what makes things work. This investigation into the interior of my figures parallels my own search for a better understanding of myself.
Creative realization often occurs when I’m not looking for it as I seek balance in the activities of my life. I have made a living teaching and making art. Having a family has expanded my heart and deepened my empathy for mankind. Being active outdoors has given me some profoundly beautiful experiences with nature. I am lucky to have had moments of “Oneness.” I continue to live and work in search of these moments.
Left: Bloodline, ceramics with cold finish and mixed media, 2003. H. 60 in.