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Byron Temple, n.d. Image courtesy of the artist. James A. Michener Art Musem library.

"I wish for purity and precision in objects that extol the virtue of harmony and proportion. The spirit of the works invites the viewer to slow down his pace and pay attention to the details: for example, a thumbprint recording a gesture or the way the light hits the shoulder of a vase."
-Byron Temple

Byron Temple is internationally recognized for his unpretentious wood-fired and salt-glazed ceramic works. He had been an apprentice of English potter Bernard Leach, and this clearly influenced his concept and philosophy of ceramics. He liked to define himself as a production potter. He used basic designs which he dominated to perfection. This permitted him to explore intensely the fundamental qualities of the form and its expression. He described his work as "sleek and slim" with "simple lines" and "marks left exposed," he considered this to be "a combination of Bauhaus and Japan." Temple influenced generations of potters with classes and workshops at schools ranging from Pennland and Haystack to the Pratt Institute and Philadelphia College of Art. He has worked all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Japan.

From 1962 to 1989, Temple established and operated a production pottery studio in Lambertville, New Jeresy, making mostly functional tableware. Out of this work, the potter grew interested in creating more artistic vessels. This had been his primary focus and output since he retired from the production oriented work in the late 1980s when he moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he spent the last years of his life. Here, he pursued more individualistic pots for the rest of his career. As an independent potter, Temple's production reached as many as 10,000 pieces a year. His pottery is unmistakably handcrafted, bearing the marks of the artists touch or the cutting wire where the pot has been removed from the wheel. He often tied lids to the bases of pots with a cord of silk or linen, giving them the quality of a ritual object.

Byron Temple, n.d. Image courtesy of the artist. James A. Michener Art Musem library.

Education & Community

Education and Training
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 1951-1952
The Brooklyn Museum Art School, Brooklyn, New York, 1952-1955
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1955-1957
Apprenticeship, Bernard Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall, England, 1959-1961

Influences and Teachers
Apprenticed with Bernard Leach in St. Ives, 1959-1961
Worked in England with Colin Pearson
Bizen and pre-Columbian pottery
Japanese pottery and Haniwa figures
American Folk pottery
Scandinavian pottery
Woodcuts or Naoko Matsubara
Early work of Isamu Noguchi

Connection to Bucks County
Byron Temple first came to Bucks County in 1962 to become involved with the craft center of New Hope. In 1965, he moved from Chicago to New Hope and later relocated to Lambertville, New Jersey, where he established his pottery career. He resided there until 1989 when he moved to Kentucky.

Awards & Appointments

Major Awards
New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, 1985
NEA Fellowship Grant, 1990
Artist-in-Residence, European Ceramic Work Centre, Hertogenbosch, Holland, 1994
Artist-in-Residence, Wanganui, Regional Community Polytechnic, New Zealand, 1994-95

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Lectures at Philadelphia College of Art and Swarthmore College
Art Institute of Chicago, School of Art, Studio Pottery, Assistant, 1957-1958
Pennland School for Crafts, North Carolina, 1968
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, Chair of Pottery Department, 1968-1979
Director of Leach Pottery, St. Ives, England, 1978-79
Craft Lecture Series, Renwich Gallery / Smithsonian, 1992
A founding member of the NorthEast Craft Fair, Springfield, Maine (originally the Rhine Beck, New York)


Major Solo Exhibitions
Greenwich House, New York, NY, 1966, 1973
Gilbert Parr Gallery, London, England, 1978
Storehouse, Atlanta, GA, 1978
American Hand, Washington DC, 1980
Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI, 1981
Ball State University, IN, 1982
Swearingen Gallery, Louisville, KY, 1984
State Museum of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ, 1985
Soroban Gallery, Wellfleet, MA, 1985
Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, UT, 1985
Concept Design, Lambertville, NJ, 1985
University of California, San Diego, CA, 1986
Caja Rural, Grenada, Spain, 1987
Sargadelos, Madrid, Spain, 1987
Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 1989
Swearingen Gallery, Louisville, KY, 1989
Amaury St Gilles, Tokyo, Japan, 1991
Gallery Eight, La Jolla, CA, 1991
Mendelson Gallery, Washington Depot, CT 1992
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, 1992
Anton Gallery, Washington DC, 1995

Major Group Exhibitions
Young Americans, America House, New York, NY, 1954
Designed for Production
, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, NY 1964
Gallery 252, Philadelphia, PA, 1965
Salt Glaze Ceramics, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, NY, 1972
Salt Invitational, NCECA, Madison, Wisconsin, 1974
International Ceramics, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, 1985
Contemporary Crafts: Expanding View
, Mammoth Museum, Hot Springs, SD 1986
Craft Today: Pottery of the Physical,
ACC, New York, NY, 1986
American Wood Fire 91, University of Iowa Museum, Iowa City, IO 1991
The Leach Influence, Farrell Collection, Washington D.C., 1992
More than One: Studio Production
, ACC, New York, NY 1992
Two Man Show, Swidler Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan, 1992
Show of Hands
, Denver, CO, 1993
The Gallery, Bloomington, IN, 1993
Ceramic Art, Sydney, Australia, 1994
Clay Feat, Auckland, New Zealand, 1994
Alpha House Gallery, Dorset, UK 1995
Gallerie Besson, London, England, 1995
Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, 1995
Jane Hartsook Gallery 25th Anniversary, New York, NY, 1995
Contemporary Craft
, Portland, OR, 1995
Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Holland, 1995
Scripps Annual, San Diego, CA, 1996
Art in Craft II
, Bellas Artes, Santa Fe, NM, 1997


Major Collections
Museum Boymans-can Beuningen, Rotterdam
The Koster & Quist Collection, The Netherlands
State Museum of New Jersey, Trenton, New Jersey
Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah
Ball State University Museum, Muncie, Indiana
American Craft Museum, New York, New York
Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York
Peat Marwick Montvale Art Collection, Montvale, New Jersey
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
Nelson Museum at Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona
Jack Lenor Larsen Collection, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island
Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian, New York, New York
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
Palmer Museum, Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Also, many fine kitchens internationally.

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