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J.R. Sherburne

JR SherburneCraft • Ceramicist

J.R. Sherburne’s belief in the accessibility and approachable nature of ceramics reflects his laid-back, down-to-earth Kentuckian background and style.  He creates pots and ceramic pieces to catch the eye and tell a story – the kind of story your Grandfather would tell on a long summer evening while gliding on the front porch swing.  For J.R., clay is a unique and extraordinary material. It is “not inherently valuable or impressive; it possesses humor and yet may be dismissed as less than serious or marginalized as simply utilitarian. But it is these unassuming traits which allow us to consider its proposition eye-to-eye and to speak to us in a voice we trust; simple and direct, like cool sweet tea after a long dusty walk up a gravel lane.”
His formal background in ceramics began in 1974 in the apprenticeship program at Berea College in Kentucky, culminating with a B.A. degree.  Following graduation, J.R. was a studio potter in Florida, California, and Kentucky. While in Kentucky he was very active in the Kentucky Department of Humanities Artist-in-Residence program, working primarily in rural districts presenting residencies ranging from two weeks to nine months, as well providing teacher in-service seminars, facilitating visiting artist workshops, and advocating for the arts to community groups.  He earned an M.F.A in Ceramics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2008.
J.R. sees teaching as an extension of his role as an artist, a privileged position that allows him to share experience, knowledge, technique, and most importantly, critical interaction with students. Teaching allows him to learn, with the intent of his teaching to broaden students' preconceived notions, challenge their boundaries, and assist them in acquiring skills that foster analytical engagement.  As clay provides a myriad of possibilities for students of all ages and skill levels, creating vessels and flat work may be approached from a historical perspective, a strictly formal functional perspective, or a narrative and symbolic perspective, any of which offer the opportunity to dovetail with a multitude of classroom curriculums.

726 Wayne Avenue
Indiana, PA 15701
(724) 465-0326