John Ransmeier, Ceramic Artist
John’s wood fired ceramics are a combination of techniques including wheel thrown, pressed, slab and coil construction. The body of work is functional as well as sculptural. The functional work is dishwasher and microwave safe. The larger pieces are ideal for a patio or outdoor garden setting. Glazes are crystalline and flowing.
John’s recent work mirrors the delicate curves of nature with fluid wood fired glazes. The finished result echoes the surprises of beauty in the natural environment in which he lives.
Working also in concave and convex relief, John says: “Maybe it’s because contrast is the language of bright sunlight, where living things get the nourishment they need.”
John grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. His interest in clay began in high school. After a visit to the Penland School of Crafts, a bit of research and some ingenuity, he built his first kick wheel in 1970. From books, he taught himself how to throw clay and make pots.
During an apprenticeship with Gene Bunker, John worked in porcelain and concentrated in glaze reduction. After a year of study at the Kansas City Art Institute, he established a studio in the Highwater Crafts Center in Asheville, NC and co-founded Biltmore Clay Company. He went on to study with potters Seth Duberstein of New Paltz, New York and Paul Chaleff of Pine Plains, New York.
After working as a studio potter in production porcelain, John studied for two years at The University of North Carolina at Asheville and then received his BFA from Alfred University in Alfred, New York in 1990. He spent some time doing graduate work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he established a working studio for the next four years.
After returning to North Carolina in 1994, John built a wood fire kiln and established a studio in Weaverville, North Carolina where he lives and works today. His work has spanned a wide spectrum of processes, clay bodies, glazes and style. John continues to travel across the country exhibiting in fine craft shows and selling his work in galleries and museums in the southeast.