John Dix has spent the last 25 of his 35 years with clay primarily in Japan. This has led to works that show a strong Japanese influence but still retain elements of his early training in the West.
In 1995, the day before the Kobe Earthquake, John met David Jack and Sachiko Matsunaga. They were starting a rural studies foundation in the area of Japan called Tamba, an ancient pottery region. With their support John was able to build an anagram kiln. The place has developed into Fieldwork Japan with facilities for people to come and experience rural Japan through pottery. While John works as an independent potter, he also encourages people from all walks of life to join him at Fieldwork.
"The word that best describes my approach to clay is 'Serendipity'. I'll have a starting point without a clear destination, a familiar path (constructing a teapot , a sake bottle, etc) which I always give myself permission to diverge from. This freedom brings freshness to the work and has sustained me over the years."
"Firing with wood takes the idea of 'serendipity' to a higher level. I don't know of any other art form where chance plays such a pivotal role."
Loading the kiln with glazed and unglazed pots takes 5 days. Over the course of the one-week firing copious amounts of ash are produced, giving each piece its own unique character.
"It is physically and mentally draining. Years and years went by before I even started to understand what was happening in the kiln."
John still defers to the gods of chance, but in fact at this point he has succeeded in wresting control of the process and mastering all aspects of his firing.
John regularly exhibits at galleries and department stores in Tokyo, Kansai (Osaka/kyoto/Kobe) and also in the U.S.
1960 Born, Flint, MI, USA
1982 BA Liberal Arts, Albion College, Albion, MI.
1983-85 Apprentice, Terrestrial Forming Pottery, Whitehall, MI
1985 Apprenticed at pottery studio in Xania, Crete, Greece
1985-86 Worked with Potters in Jerusalem, Israel
1987-89 Worked as Studio Manager at Terrestrial Forming Pottery
1989 Moved to Japan
1989-91 Studied at Tekisui Pottery Studio, Ashiya, Hyogo
1992-94 Worked with Bizen Potter KanichiMikami. Tsuyama, Okayama
1995 Built anagama wood-fire kiln and studio at Fieldwork in Sasayama, Hyogo
1991 Itami Craft Competition, Itami Museum, Osaka, Japan
1992 "3 American Potters", ItamiCraft Museum, Osaka, Japan
1992 "International Teapots", Detroit, MI
1997Chisai me Gallery, Nishinomiya, Hyogo
1999International WoodFire Exhibition. Iowa City, IA
1999, 2000, 2002, Hankyu Department Store, Osaka
2001, 2003 Hankyu Department Store, Kobe
2000 One person show Bihodo Galleries, Sapporo, Asahigawa, Hokkaido
2001, 2003 One Person show, Tosei Gallery, Nagaokakyo ,City, Kyoto
2002, 2004 Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro, Tokyo
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 Gallery Shun, Tokyo
2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 Gallery Shou, Osaka
2004 Tokyo American Club
2005, 2007, 2009, 2012 Daimaru Department Store, Osaka
2006 Gallery Ten, Chiba
2007 International Wood Fire Exhibition, Salem, OR
2007 International Tea Bowl Exhibition, Bainbridge, WA
2008 Kobe Club Gallery, Kobe
2008 'Form and Fire' Group Exhibition, Westmont College, CA
2009 'Soft Beauty of Shino' Group Exhibition, Concord University, Athens, WV.
2009 ‘Masters and Stokers’ Group Exhibition,Vessels Gallery, Boston MA
2010 One Person show, Gallery Kobo, Seattle WA
2010, 2011Cha no Yu no Zokei Ten (Teabowl Exhibition) Tanabe Museum, Matsue, Shimane
2010 Two Person Show, Signature Gallery, Atlanta GA
2011 Two Person Show, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA
2012 ‘Teabowls from the Edge’ Group Exhibition, Tacoma, WA
2012 ‘World in a Cup’ Sake vessels. Group Exhibition, Curated by John Dix. Seattle, WA
2012 Daimaru Department Store, Osaka
2013 Four Person Exhibition,Trax Gallery. Berkeley, CA
2013 Gallery Sho Osaka, Japan
2014 One Person Show, Concord University Gallery, Athens WV
2015 Gallery Sho Osaka, Japan
2016 One Person Show, The Wedge Studios, Reno NV
2017 Three Person Show with Nick Schwartz and Bede Clark at Trax Gallery. Berkeley, CA
2017 One Person Show at Gallery Sho, Osaka, Japan
2006 Workshop at Flint Institute of Art, Flint, MI
2007 'Firing the Anagama' Peter's Valley Craft Center, NJ
2009 Workshop at Frederick Community College, Frederick MD
2010 Shoreline Community College, Shoreline WA
2010Workshop at Lane Community College, Eugene OR
2010 'Firing the Noborigama' Peters Valley Craft Center, NJ
2010 Workshop at Odyssey Studios, Asheville, NC
2010 Firing Workshop at Judith Duff Studio, Brevard, NC
2011 Workshop at Scottish Potters Association, Kindrogan Scotland
2011 Workshop at Solway Ceramic Centre, Solway England
2011 Firing Workshop at Concord University, Athens W.V.
2011 Firing Workshop at Kotulak Studio, Germantown NY
2011 Workshop at Raritan Community College, NJ
2012 Firing Workshop at University of Utah and Red Kiln Pottery Studio, Salt Lake City UT
2012 Workshop at Linn-Benton Community College. Corvallis, OR
2012Kiln building workshop at Peters Valley, NJ
2013 Firing Workshop at Mendocino Arts Center. Mendocino CA
2014 Firing Workshop at Kotulak Studio, Germantown NY
2014 Firing Workshop at Judith Duff Studio, Brevard, NC
2014 Firing Workshop at Concord University, Athens W.V.
2015 Firing Workshop at Kotulak Studio, Germantown NY
2016 Workshop at Nancy Green Studio,
2016 Workshop at Red Kiln, Salt Lake City UT
2016 Making and Firing Workshop, Wedge Studio and Snow Mountain Anagama, Reno NV
2017 Painting with Fire: Two-week firing workshop, co-teaching with Nick Schwartz at Penland School of Crafts, NC
2018 Firing workshop at OMahoney Studios, Lismore Ireland
2018 Lecture/demo at Landshutt School of Ceramics Landshutt Germany
2018 Noborigama Firing at Peters Valley, NJ
PUBLICATIONS (Click on the black titles to download a PDF of the available article)
1999 Japan Times - Feature Article
2000 Ceramics Art and Perception - Issue 39
2001 Japan Times - Feature Article
2003 Ceramics Monthly - June/July/AugustIssue
2009 Ceramics Monthly - November Issue
2009 Ceramics Technical - Issue 29
2012 The Log Book - Issue 52
2013 The Log Book - Issue 55
2014 New Ceramics - January
2014 The Log Book - Issue 57
Philadelphia Museum of Art