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Artist: Sam Hoffman

Artist: Sam Hoffman
Sam Hoffman, OREGON
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I am interested more in artistic exploration than expression; my work is primarily motivated by curiosity about the nature of clay and fire. My passion for ceramics is influenced by a background in mathematics, chemistry, and astronomy. I find the scientific method of inquiry useful when experimenting with materials and firings. But I also employ risk and chance as allies in my creative process, an artistic balance that lies somewhere between alchemy and science.

When firing in wood and vapor kilns, subtle changes in the shape of a piece can influence how flames move over the clay and, consequently, how it is colored and textured. I am particularly excited by the possibilities of combining intentional marks with the serendipitous glaze effects from the fire. In my recent work, I have been exploring the ceramic vessel as a kind of lens, much like that of a telescope or microscope. By manipulating the two-dimensional surfaces of a three-dimensional form, I hope to create an illusion of depth, be it celestial or cellular, that goes beyond the piece itself.

1999-2002 - Master of Fine Arts, - Kent State University, Kent, OH
- teaching assistant and studio technician with Kirk Mangus and Eva Kwong
1993-1997 - Bachelor of Arts, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
- major in Studio Arts, minor in French Studies, Cum Laude Honors

2003-2015 - Wood kiln technician, Hiroshi Ogawa’s Hikarigama, Elkton, OR
2004-2013 - Associate professor of ceramics, Linn Benton College, Corvallis, OR
2013 - Visiting artist at Kinkaid School, invited by Jane DiPaulo, Houston, TX
2012 - Visiting artist at Kent State University, invited by Eva Kwong, Kent, OH
2008 - Co-curator of “Painting With Fire” wood firing symposium, Lake Oswego, OR
2007 - Visiting artist at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO
2006 - Visiting artist at City of Boulder Pottery Lab, Boulder, CO
2004 - Resident artist at Kanayama Pottery, invited by Ryoji Matsymiya, Aomori, Japan
2003 - Guest lecturer at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
2002 - Visiting artist at Aomori International Wood Fire Festival, Goshogawara, Japan
1997-1999 - Studio apprentice to porcelain potter Doug Hively, Monmouth, OR

2014 - “American Shino Glazes in Wood Firing”, Oregon Potters Association journal
2013 - “Carbon Trapping”, Technofile, Ceramics Monthly, March issue
2012 - “Courting Entropy: Adventures in Wood Firing”, Blossom Arts Festival journal
2010 - “Emerging Artist Award”, Ceramics Monthly, May issue
2008 - “One Foot in the Past, One Step in the Future”, Lake Oswego Arts Center journal
2006 - “Up In Smoke: Wood Firing Challenges in Today’s World”, 2006 NCECA journal
2006 - “Raw Materials - Minerals - Clays”, 2006 NCECA journal
2005 - “Clays, Slips, and Glazes for Wood Firing”, Ceramics Monthly, summer issue
2005 - “M.C. Richards: The Fire Within”, 2005 NCECA journal
2003 - “Creating Large Plates and Platters”, Pottery Making Illustrated, March issue

2015 - “5+5”, Trax gallery, Berkeley, CA
- “Yunomi Invitational”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “Stoked”, Eutectic gallery, Portland, OR

2014 - “Simple Cup Invitational”, Kobo gallery, Seattle, WA
- “Confluence”, Giustina gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
- “Yunomi Invitational”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “Featured Oregon Potters”, Portland Justice Center gallery, Portland, OR

2013 - “Toward the Future, Messages From Clay”, Odori Museum, Hokkaido, Japan
- “A Tile and A Vessel”, Silver City Clay Festival, Silver City, NM
- “Yunomi Invitational”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “Seasons”, North Bank gallery, Vancouver, WA
- “Woodfiring in the Pacific Northwest”, Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg, OR

2012 - “Vapor Trails”, solo exhibition, Blossom Arts, Eels Gallery, Cleveland, OH
- “Showcase”, 2nd Place Best in Show, Oregon Potters Association, Portland, OR
- “Flashpoint: International Woodfire”, Plinth gallery, Denver, CO
- “Yunomi Invitational”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “10 Woodfire Kilns of the Northwest”, POTS gallery, Seattle, WA
- “West Coast Woodfire”, Fire Arts Center, Arcata, CA

2011 - “Featured Artist”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “Showcase”, 1st Place Poster Award, Oregon Potters Association, Portland, OR
- “The Vase and Beyond”, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
- “Yunomi Invitational”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “The Illuminating Kiln”, Emerald Arts Center, Springfield, OR
- “Atmospheric Firings”, Triton Art Museum, Santa Clara, CA
- “Contemporary Northwest Ceramics”, Jundt Art Museum, Spokane, WA

2010 - “Northwest Woodfire”, POTS gallery, Seattle, WA
- “Woodfiring Symposium”, Ohio University, Athens, OH
- “30x5”, AKAR gallery, Iowa City, IA
- “Dining In III”, 18 Hands gallery, Houston, TX
- “Shino REDUX”, Clay Art Center gallery, Port Chester, NY
- “FILL-adelphia”, Show of Hands Gallery, Philidelphia, PA

2009 - “National Cup Show Invitational”, Kent State University, Kent, OH
- “A Path of Flame 2009”, Madera Gallery, Tacoma, WA
- “Spoon it, Fork it, Cut it Up!”, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD
- “Muddy’s Woodfire Classic”, Myers Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

2008 - “A Path of Flame 2008”, Madera Gallery, Tacoma, WA
- “Clouds Above, Mountains Below”, Whipple Art Gallery, Sutherlin, OR
- “Contained”, University of Arkansas, Monticello, AR

2007 - “Wood-Fired Connections”, Art Object Gallery, San Jose, CA

2006 - “International Wood Fire Conference”, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
- “Extravagance of Salt & Pepper”, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD
- “Decade”, Walters Cultural Arts Center, Hillsboro, OR

2005 - “School’s Out!”, Community College of Baltimore County Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2004 - “Clearly Black and White”, Tierra Solida gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

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