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Ceramic artist comes to BU

Nov. 9, 2004

By BRIAN D. PHILLIPS, reporter

Nationally-known ceramic artist Richard Aerni will present a Visiting Ceramic Artist Workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Lewis Art Building.

Aerni, who has received no formal training, became interested in ceramics after attending a night class at a local pottery studio. As of the one of the premier vessel makers in the country today, he has been included in every major ceramics text for the past 10 years.

Paul McCoy, professor of art and ceramist-in-residence at Baylor, is confident in Aerni's abilities.

"He's one of the great potters," McCoy said. "There aren't many who can put the grace and elegance into their work that he does. We're lucky to get him."

For more than 20 years, Aerni has worked in Rochester, NY, specializing in ash glazes and single firing.

In the morning, Aerni will demonstrate how he constructs his ceramic vessels and present a slide show on the development of his work. In the afternoon, he will continue the demonstration and discuss his pieces featured in the University Art Gallery.

"The workshop will be helpful to anyone interested in production or glazing techniques," Denny Pickett, lecturer of art, said.

The workshop, sponsored by the department of art and the University Lectures Committee, is free and open to the public.

Aerni's work is on display in the University Art Gallery in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

The exhibit, which also features work by Tom Turner and Ellen Schankin, is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday until Nov. 24 and from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Pickett said the artists are "the best in the business."

"The show features three world-class ceramists," he said. "You can really call them masters. Their [works] are just so stunningly well-crafted and exquisite."

Visiting Artists Workshops are presented periodically in the art department. The workshop will be held in Room 168 of the Lewis Art Building. Those interested in attending should contact Paul McCoy at 710-4415 or at