resident summer 1997, summer 1993, 2009-2010
Steven Roberts was born in Colby, Kansas and grew up in Helena, Montana. He studied painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute and in the Program In Artisanry at the University of Massachusetts—Dartmouth.
Steve has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, Bowling Green State University, the University of Alaska at Anchorage, and the University of Wisconsin—Stout. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in China, and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine.
Steve has written about tools and color for The Studio Potter.
"I choose to create functional pottery because I am fascinated by the idea of communicating not just through sight but also through touch. Use is an important concern in my work, but I try not to view utility in a narrow context. A pot can function well without aspiring to the smooth, regular forms of industrially-pressed hotel china. A pot can be functional without being conventional. My work is functional without implying simplicity, streamlining, production speed, or boredom. I am not trying to move beyond function or to free myself from it but to expand your idea of what a functional pot can be.
In my work I try to soften the Apollonian precision of a structured, clearly articulated form by contrasting it with Dionysian elements of swelling, curvilinear volume. My choice of glazes combines with firing decisions to transform an initially structured surface into an atmospheric veil of sublime color. I hope the contrast between classical and romantic elements of form and surface will intensify the experience of both aesthetics by presenting them in the context of their visual opposites."