Potter, professor, author, curator, exhibitor, lecturer--when it comes to ceramics, Richard Burkett has done it all in his 45+ years-long career. Starting with a summer job in 1970 working for the late Indiana potter Richard Peeler, Burkett went on to found the Wild Rose Pottery in 1973 in Bainbridge, Indiana, where he predominantly made salt glazed pottery like this vase for the next 10 years. He then went back to school, earning a double MFA in ceramics and photography at Indiana U. Since then he has taught and lectured on ceramics, presently as Professor of Art at San Diego State University, He has co-authored and contributed to several books, including one on his travels over 20 years to the Amazon basin in Ecuador to document the indigenous pottery. His pottery has been in well over 100 exhibitions internationally and he is highly respected in the ceramic arts community.
This large urn-shaped vase is one of his earliest works, dating from the 1973-1983 period of the Wild Rose Pottery, as evidenced by the impressed WR stamp on the lower front of the piece. The glaze colors he used are 1970's avocado green and gold on grainy, heavy beige clay, finished with the salt glaze complete with a few glaze pops. Incised, looping lines surrounding a cascading drip of green decorate both front and back, while incised lines ring both top and bottom. Richard Burkett's finger ridges are obvious on the interior and his distinctive Burkett signature is incised on the bottom. In our photograph #8, there's a copy of the January/February 2003 cover of "Pottery Making Illustrated" which features him and there's a shot of the cover of one of his books, also.
This vase measures 8 1/2 inches tall, 5 inches in diameter at the mouth and 6 inches across the base and weighs 3 1/2 pounds. There are four round felt pads on the bottom to protect surfaces. It's in excellent condition, with no apparent wear, gleaming as though it just left the potter's hands. (White spots are of course just light reflections.) This is a handsome studio piece by a noted ceramicist that's destined to become more treasured and valuable as years go by.
***The watercolor shown in one of the photos is by Marjorie Tolkin Nichols and is available here: