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Artist: Steven Hill

Artist: Steven Hill
Steven Hill, MISSOURI
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I make wheel thrown, single-fired, functional porcelain. My focus is relatively narrow, and my work has always been a slow evolution of form and surface, including drinking vessels, pitchers, teapots, plates, bowls, covered jars and vases.

I spent most of my career firing ^10 reduction, but now fire ^8 oxidation. Potters speak of the Kiln Gods, but for me the magic resides more in the application process than the mystery of fire. Each of my pieces has 4-8 glazes. Some are sprayed in a way that isolates them from others, like the black glaze on the rim, handle, and foot of a pitcher, but most are layered and blended. My intention is for the whole pot to look like one rich and varied surface, much like weathered rock or moss growing on the north side of a tree trunk. I want my glazes to ebb and flow, with color and surface texture gently emphasizing changes in form. I encourage micro-crystalline growth on the glaze surface, which can resemble a snowstorm or falling leaves, and I use ash-like glazes to encourage streaking, leaving vivid traces of glazes interacting with and flowing through each other as they melt. Most of my glaze combinations are rather unstable to work with, but at their best they have an amazing ability to allure and captivate the viewer.  One thing is certain... they are never boringly predictable! Function keeps me rooted, and the journey of experimenting with form and new glaze combinations pushes me forward.

Steven has been a professional studio potter since 1974. Faculty positions have included Avila College, Kansas City Art Institute, and Kansas State University who awarded him the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2002. Steven was the founder and co-owner of Red Star Studios Ceramic Center in Kansas City, Missouri and Center Street Clay in Sandwich, Illinois. Steven is now proudly a member of 323 Clay in Independence, MO, doing what he does best… making pots and teaching!

Steven’s writing ranges from technical to philosophical. Articles include:

Atmospheric-Like Effects for Electric Firing, Ceramics Monthly March 2012

The Eight-Month Workshop: A Journey of Discovery Ceramics Monthly Summer 2008

Rethinking Ceramic Workshops Ceramics Monthly May 2007

An Approach to Single Firing – Further In Ceramics Monthly January 2006

Common Ground: A showcase of National Ceramics Artists-in-Residence Ceramics Monthly January 2006

Spraying Glazes Pottery Making Illustrated March/April, 2002

Where You’ve Been Is Good and Gone, All You Keep Is the Gettin’ There Ceramics Monthly April 1998

Pulling Handles Pottery Making Illustrated Spring 1998

Don't Put the Flames Out Ceramics Monthly February 1994

Long Distance Runner Studio Potter December 1989

An Approach to Single-Firing Ceramics Monthly January 1986

Early in his career, Steven discovered his passion for teaching. He has conducted nearly 300 workshops in venues like: Aldelphi University, Armory Art Center, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, Centre de ceramique Bonsecours, Ceramic Artists of San Diego, Dan Finch Pottery, Waterloo Potters Workshop, Alberta College of Art and Design, The Ontario Clay and Glass Association, Peters Valley Craft Center, Sierra Nevada College, Wesleyan Potters, CraftSummer, Miami University, 92nd Street Y, Penland School of Crafts, Functional Ceramics 95, Mendocino Art Center. In addition, Steven presented pre-NCECA workshops in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 was Glaze Doctor for NCECA in Denver 2000, led a topical discussion group Single-Firing: Age Old Solution for the 90's for NCECA in Minneapolis 1995, and was a demonstrator at NCECA in Kansas City 1989.

Steven’s work has been featured in over 150 Invitational Exhibits internationally. Highlights include: 

19th Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA 2012

National Teapot Show VII, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor NC 2008

Infusion 10x10, Craft Alliance, St.Louis MO 2008

La Mesa 2008 & 2005, Santa Fe Clay, NCECA Shows

Bourbon Bottles in the Bluegrass, Louisville Stoneware, 2007

Single Firing – Further In New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, 2007

All Fired Up, Aldelphi University, Long Island, NY, 2006

21st Century Ceramics, Canzani Center Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, 2003

Plates & Platters, The Odyssey Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2002

Regarding Clay – NCECA Endowment Benefit Auction, Belger Art Center, Kansas City, MO, 2002

Teapots Transformed: The Studio Potters, Pinch, Northampton, MA, 2001

Mugshots, Ellipse Art Center, Arlington, VA, 2001

Functional Ceramics 1994 & 1995, Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH

A Tea Party, Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA, 1885, 86, 87, 88, 89

Marietta College Crafts National ‘77

Hill’s work appears in dozens of books. Especially noteworthy: 

500 Teapots, Lark Books 2013

500 Pitchers, Lark Books 2006

The Teapot Book, By Steve Woodhead, A & C Black 2005

The Complete Guide to High Fire Glazes, By John Britt, Lark Books 2004

Creative Pottery – A Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase, by Michelle Coakes, Quarry Books 1998


Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville 1973, Graduate Study 

Kansas State University, BFA in ceramics 1973

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