“Ceramics is a very demanding discipline,” explains Bede Clarke, MU Professor of Art. Even after 35 years in the field, he says, “it still takes a lot out of me to do good work.” Clarke’s creative activity focuses on two areas. One involves the use of color and drawing and painting on clay with abstract and figurative imagery, and the other is wheel-thrown pottery fired in a wood kiln to achieve glaze effects.
The important thing, suggests Clarke, is not the particular artistic genre in which one works — whether still-life painting, landscape painting, making pots, or figurative sculpture — but what the artist has to say. As he explains, “I’m interested in reaching out, as the maker of these things, to other people. The things I create are made to live their lives in people’s homes. I envision them being things people would have in their homes, the way they have their favorite radio station on, or books on their shelves that they like to pull down. I’m aware that I have the potential to contribute something to their daily life. I aspire for it to be something deeply human and compassionate and worthwhile.”