Curtis Benzle ( he )

Artist Statement

From the tactile magic of malleable clay to the visual temptation of luminous, fused silica in translucent porcelain; ceramic materials excite my senses.

Specific inspiration for my work follows a journey through the annals of ceramic art history.  An early encounter with the “eggshell” wares of Asia encouraged me to test the limits of both myself and my materials.  The Momoyama and Muromachi Periods in Japan, with their integration of chance occurrence as part of the creative process, led me to an acceptance of the physical limits of clay.   These limitations also opened the door to the sophisticated celebration, through Kintsugi repair practice, of the nexus of a personal pursuit of perfection and porcelain’s eventual submission to the molecular strain of extreme temperature.

This “journey” is rounded out by a persistent fascination with the intricately patterned porcelains produced throughout the finest factories and studios of Europe and Asia.  Who can visit the accomplishments of Meissen, Limoges, the Imperial Porcelains of Russia or the Imari Period in Japan and not be compelled to pattern?

My artwork is created using colored, vitreous, translucent porcelain. Ceramic stains are incorporated directly into the porcelain, which provides both creative immediacy and the ability to decorate the surface and build the form with color.

Light infuses the work through the translucent character of porcelain. Colors change, blend and oppose based on the visual response of each piece to its luminous environment.

Pattern, color and light have propelled personal, creative urges throughout my career and provide every indication of a continued quest.


Curtis Benzle’s signature artworks are translucent, porcelain sculpture and architectural lighting.  He is represented in major museums and collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Smithsonian, Washington D C; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Montreal Museum of Art, Seto(Japan) Cultural Center; The Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, Cleveland(Ohio) Museum of Art, and the White House Collection.Curtis received his B.F.A. from the Ohio State University, MA from Northern Illinois University and apprenticed in pottery with Robert Eckels.  He is Professor Emeritus at the Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, Ohio) and has taught over sixty workshops throughout the world.  His most recent workshops were at La Meridiana, Tuscany, Italy and the Pottery Gym, Madrid SpainCurtis is included in over twenty-five books on contemporary ceramics, including;  “Lithophanes”, Margaret Carney, “Masters: Porcelain”, Richard Burkett, “Clay in Art”, Kostas Tarkasis, “Ceramic Form”, Peter Lane, “Making Marks” & “Clay and Glazes for the Potter”, Robin Hopper and “Art That Works”, Lloyd Herman.Curtis is a former Trustee of the American Craft Council, past Executive Director of Ohio Designer Craftsmen, served on the Board of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund(CERF) and is the past-president of the Alabama Visual Arts Network where he continues to promote learning and career success for all studio artists. Curtis is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.  .