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"Birds of Flight" | Ceramic | 3 x 12 inches

Illuminations: Ones to watch

Spotlighting the work of ceramic artist Eric Stearns

Written by Michele Corriel  

Michele Corriel

Other Contributions

Synchronicity A Voice in Stone Equus Ones to Watch: Artist Jinni Thomas Ones to Watch: Artist Karen Bezuidenhout Ones to Watch: Rory Egelus Ones to Watch: Ceramic Artist George McCauley Ones to Watch: Painter Rick Stevens Ones to Watch: Jon Dick Ones to Watch: Mixed-media Artist Christopher Owen Nelson Ones to Watch: Diana Tremaine Ones to Watch: Josh Elliot Ones to Watch: Doug Smith Ones to Watch: David Barrett Ones to Watch: Howard Knight Ones to Watch: Silas Thompson Ones to Watch: Kristine Allphin Ones to Watch: Chris Morel Ones to Watch: Sherry Salari Sander Ones to Watch: Alan Carr Ones to Watch: Robert Royhl Ones to Watch: Robert Seliger Ones to Watch: Karen Woods Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Glendon Good Ones to Watch: Painter Deladier Almeida Ones to Watch: Sculptor Stephanie Revennaugh Ones to Watch: Painter Gregory Packard Ones to Watch: Randy Stromsoe Ones to Watch: Beth Loftin Ones to Watch: Dyani White Hawk Ones to Watch: David Bardwick Ones to Watch: Donna Gans Ones to Watch: Susan Jarecky Ones to Watch: Carrie Fell Ones to Watch: Rose Masterpol Ones to Watch: Bryan Peterson Ones to Watch: Terry Karson Ones to Watch: Lisa Ronay Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Perspective: Gennie DeWeese [1921-2007] Ones to Watch: Andrew Mann Ones to Watch: Bonnie Teitelbaum Illuminations: Ones to watch Perspective: Frances Senska [1914–2009] Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Ralph Wiegmann Ones to Watch: Artchitect Candace Miller Ones to Watch: Architect George Gibson Ones to Watch: Architect Nick Deaver Ones to Watch: Sculptor Bale Creek Allen Ones to Watch: Painter Brianne Janes Ones to Watch: Danae Bennett Miller Ones to Watch: Mark Edward Adams Ones to Watch: Josh Chandler Ones to Watch: Tony Abeyta Ones to Watch: Robert Spooner Marcus Ones to Watch: Ken Andrews Ones to Watch: Michael Kessler Ones to Watch: Jim Dayton Ones to Watch: Rahnee Gladwin Ones to Watch: Geoffrey Warner Ones to Watch: Gwen Samuels Ones to Watch: Kensuke Yamada Ones to Watch: Michael Greenspan Ones to Watch: Chuck Middlekauff Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Sculptor Carol Alleman Ones to Watch: Artist Kathleen Dunphy Ones to Watch: Jeweler Jesse Monongye Ones to Watch: Michael Ross Ones to Watch: Furniture maker Charise Buckley Ones to Watch: Sculptor Charles Ringer Ones to Watch: David Slonim Ones to Watch: Catherine Courtenaye Ones to Watch: Ironworker Ted Docteur Ones to Watch: Evert Sodergren Ones to Watch: Jacquelyn Bischak Ones to Watch: Guilloume Ones to Watch: David Coffin Ones to Watch: Francis Di Fronzo Ones to Watch: Jeff Pugh Ones to Watch: Geoff Parker Ones to Watch: Troy Collins Ones to Watch: Dean Mabe Ones to Watch: Shelley Muzylowski Allen Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Architect Tim Belton Ones to Watch: Anne Moore Ones to Watch: Painter Flavia Eckholm Ones to Watch: Clive Tyler Ones to Watch: Weaver Cheryl Samuel Ones to Watch: Painter Gavin Brooks Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Ones to Watch: Jared Sanders Ones to Watch: Shawna Moore Ones to Watch: Aleta Pippin Ones to Watch: Rene Gibson Ones to Wacth Ones to Watch: Mike Krupnick Ones to Watch: Matt Smith Ones to Watch: Stacy Robinson Ones to Watch: Dean L. Mitchell Ones to Watch: Kirsten Kainz Ones to Watch: Susan von Borstel Ones to Watch: Craig Bergsgaard Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: La Puerta Originals Ones to Watch: Artist David Patchen Ones to Watch: Architect Aaron Kang-Crosby of Spore Architecture Ones to Watch: Frank Marquette Ones to Watch: Architect Susan Desko Ones to Watch: Sculptor Tammy Bality Ones to Watch: Suzanne Wallace Mears Ones to Watch: Clare Walton Ones to Watch: Mike Medow Ones to Watch: Leon Loughridge Ones to Watch: Eric Cobb Ones to Watch: Greg Madeen Ones to Watch: Mary Baxter Ones to Watch: Julia Lucich Ones to Watch: Kevin and Val Pourier Ones to Watch: Marc Hanson Ones to Watch: Preston Singletary Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Allen Garns Ones to Watch: Jill Zeidler Ones to Watch: Painter Luke Stavrowsky Ones to Watch: Bill Poss Ones to Watch: Britt Freda Ones to Watch: Painter Cesar Santos Ones to Watch: Troy Collins Ones to Watch: Bryan Christiansen Ones to Watch: Henry Jackson Ones to Watch: Simon Gudgeon Ones to Watch: Gordon McConnell Ones to Watch: Hadley Rampton Ones to Watch: Olivia Pendergast Ones to Watch: Kevin DesPlanques Ones to Watch: Jamie Kirkland Ones to Watch: Brian Scott Ones to Watch: Kyle Polzin Ones to Watch: Ben Pease Ones to Watch: Julie Gustafson Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Linda Elliott Ones to Watch: Deborah Berniklau Ones to Watch: Painter Denise Lemaster Ones to Watch: Architect Erik Peterson Ones to Watch: D. LaRue Mahlke Ones to Watch: Artist Crista Ann Ames Ones to Watch: Christopher Ries Ones to Watch: Mary Bechtol In the Studio: Richard Parish Ones to Watch: Florian Roeper Ones to Watch: Greg Kelsey Ones to Watch: Andrew Denman Ones to Watch: Sandra Pratt Ones to Watch: Jeff Williams Ones to Watch: Josh Clare Ones to Watch: Daniel Weaver Ones to Watch: Nora Naranjo-Morse Ones to Watch: Marela Zacarías Ones to Watch: Glenn Dean Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Collector’s Eye: Native American folk art collector Bruce VanLandingham
June | July 2017


Ceramic artist Eric Stearns uses the raku process to create his intricate designs and unique forms. In raku, the clay is fired at a low temperature. While hot, a combustible material (such as paper or sawdust) is placed on the vessel and ignites to create colors and patterns.

“The primary glaze I use is a crackling glaze, that when cooled rapidly cracks in certain areas more than others,” Stearns says. “I view these as veins, paths, trails or shattered dreams.”  

Stearns relates these lines to the different paths we choose in life, whether they take us to where we want to go and how we don’t know where we’ll end up.

The ceramicist grew up on a ranch in Nebraska and his work reflects the color palette of the sky and earth. “I do play around with blues and greens. They’re calming, relaxing colors, but as an artist, the ultimate goal is to have my pieces in people’s homes, and blues are very common in people’s homes,” Stearns says, adding that despite this recognition, he’s also telling his story.

Before he starts a piece, he thinks about what he wants to say and about the form that will best reflect that idea. “If you don’t have a good form it can deteriorate the whole thing,” Stearns says.

Each piece is gridded out while it’s still on the wheel. Then, according to his design, he cuts out small squares with an X-Acto knife. These piercings open up the interior, sometimes appearing as a window into other hidden components he’s placed inside. Discovering them is akin to finding  a buried treasure.

“My pieces reflect me, I don’t create pieces just to make work, each piece is special to me,” he says. “I have an idea of what I want, but when I make a piece, like a vase, I throw five of them in case the idea doesn’t work out the first time. But each time is a learning opportunity; it takes me to the next step.”

To keep it challenging, Stearns doesn’t repeat his work; each piece is unique, reflecting the nature of working with fire. In a kiln, anything can happen. “Everyday, people go through struggles — up and down. Like ceramics, you can have a good day or a bad day. I can spend 60 hours on a piece and have it break. I love pulling out a piece from the kiln when everything just works how I want it to.”

The geometric patterns Stearns uses in his pottery are influenced by Native American designs as well as Islamic art, but nothing is directly copied from them. He pulls from everything he sees, including furniture and architecture, then uses patterns to tell his story.

Stearns will exhibit his work August 11 through 13 during Sculpture in the Park in Loveland, Colorado. He is represented by Horizon Fine Art Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

"Hades" | Ceramic | 8 x 10 inches

"Bipolar" | Ceramic | 12 x 7.5 inches