Bob Smith

Raku Fine Art and Functional Pottery

We are excited to represent Bob Smith and his beautiful Raku fine art pottery pieces. He is continuously experimenting with new colors and designs and changes the artwork frequently. He is followed and collected by many.

Currently, Bob also brings in functional pieces such as sake sets, tea bowls, mugs and vases that he creates as he teaches his students. These are incredibly unique one-of-kind pieces and treasured by many.

Bob Smith lives in Idledale, Colorado.

Bob Smith - Raku Fine Art

Bob Smith as he teaches a class.

Artist Statement

The experience of working with clay for a living, as with most mixed blessings, is a confounding one. But primarily it offers the opportunity for the intangible: of creating “something” out of “nothing”; of working at a chosen pace for interested people; a connection (conscious or otherwise) with a past, a history so rich and varied — and so essential and human; of bringing into the world an object that intentionally exists to affect other people, maybe calmly, maybe outrageously; and perhaps most significantly, of that rare but occasional moment when the pot (or sculpture or object or idea) works, when the total is greater than the sum of the parts, and something wonderful has happened. 

Silhouette and form, with a quiet contained presence, have always been my major concerns.  My most current work reflects this ongoing fascination with form, plus an increased exploration of greater depth, subtlety and drama in the surface, with new directions in color, scale and texture. Whereas I have worked in Raku pottery for decades, terra sigillata, and saggar firing and other low-temperature atmospheric firing methods, entering my ceramics life over the last fifteen years or so have made a large impact in both scale, gesture, and impact, both from “sig” to raku, and from raku to terra sigillata. 

Bob’s comments on his functional work

This is equally true of my functional work, a comparatively new direction in my career, directed by the amount of teaching that I do, both locally and in workshops around the country. In these classes, I often demonstrate work more geared to the kitchen and dining room. I am finding great and renewed delight in working with high-fire glazes again, after a 40year hiatus.

I have been changed significantly and irrevocably by making clay art for the last forty-five years.  Through some stroke of good fortune, I have found work which is satisfying, engaging, challenging, and comprehensive, and through which I find great satisfaction.

I often think I work with clay to slow down the world; and maybe to experience the sensual/tactile quality of the wet medium on my fingers; and maybe to better understand life’s dichotomies and paradoxes by studying clay’s dichotomies and paradoxes … the microcosm of the studio and macrocosm of the world … and maybe just because I have to.”
– Bob Smith