Jim Lux


I have been making pots for over twenty years. I received by BFA from East Carolina University before becoming an apprentice with Sid and Pat Oakley at Cedar Creek Pottery in Creedmoor, NC in the early 1980s. After being at Cedar Creek for nearly a decade, I spent some time working on an MA in art history at UNC-Chapel Hill. While some of my best friends are art historians, I discovered that I’d much rather make art than write about it.

My pots are not thrown on a potter’s wheel – I build each of them from coils of clay pinched together. Then, I carefully scrape the surface smooth and gently nudge the form into something that pleases my eye and my soul. How their curves and surfaces feel (and make me feel) are just as important as how they look. Sometimes I add a bit of color to the surface, sometimes an incised line filled with clay slip. The quiet and meditative forming process results in a “blank canvas” on which the primitive fire can make its mark.

After an initial firing in an electric kiln, these pots have been wrapped in cocoons of leaves and straw and paper, laid in a nest of bricks, and lit afire. The quickly burning materials strip away the wrapping, revealing random patterns of carbon deposits cover the surface of the pots that remain as evidence of the firing process. Then, I polish the clay’s surface with wax, sometimes with the addition of metallic powders. The process – that’s what I like. And it startles me sometimes that something of me comes through in that process.