James Makins (the website) - Biography
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James Makins Portrait July 2007
James Makins (1946-) was born in Johnstown, PA, and raised in the nearby coal mining town of South Fork. Studying tap dancing as a child, he learned the tradition of repetitive practice that has served him well behind the potter's wheel. In 1964, he entered the Philadelphia Collage of Art (now The University of the Arts) to study Art Education, with a concentration in ceramics. After receiving his BFA he served an apprenticeship before doing graduate study at Cranbook Academy of Art where he received his MFA in 1973. He moved to NYC where he established a pottery studio in the SoHo district.            He has said of his work, "I attempt to synthesize a complex set of references from the history of ceramics, and to fuse them with contemporary issues in music, dance, painting and sculpture. Through the employment of focused attention...heightened awareness and constant decision making,...a vocabulary of mark making is established through gesture, finger pressure and varying wheel speed. The resulting choreography of overlapping time sequence... ultimately convey feelings from the artist to the object...feeling equals form equals feeling".             In the summer of 1990, he paticipated in a ceramic workshop (IWCAT) in the Japanese pottery making town of Tokoname. In 1993 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to Japan, and later in 2000, was awarded a Japan Foundation Fellowship. From these experiences, and with the help of his host family, the Yamanakas, he established a studio at Gallery Kyouei-Gama and began a twenty-year asociation with pottery making in Japan. In addition to maintaining studios in New York City and Japan, he also teaches in the Ceramics Program of the Craft Department at The University of the Arts.

Biography by the artist: Narrative Bipgraphy (2 pages)
Portrait (2007)

photo by Yamaoka Yasuhiro,
February 2007, Tokyo