Scott Ross

Artist Statement

“We set this house on fire forgetting that we live within.” - Jim Harrison, Saving Daylight

There are two built environments, the one that we physically occupy, move through and are contained by, and the one that is constructed within. These sculptures, built of solid clay, with wood and metal, give form to the internal spaces that viscerally resonate. They are brought into being by the actions of making an expressive mark through the addition and subtraction of material. In these expressive movements lies the attempt to resolve an interior conflict of dissonant sentiments that are arrested into forms of my own accord.

The natural surfaces achieved through forming are enriched by long duration wood firings, which entail degrees of intimacy and care through extended hours of attending to the kiln. The pieces are a visual record of the connection between the physicality of emotion, the interior space of the self and the care one must take in such pursuits.

-- Scott Ross


Scott Ross was born and raised in Union Lake, MI. He earned BA (1997) degrees in Ceramics and Creative Writing from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. He has earned his MFA (2012) in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Since 1997, he has been building and firing wood-kilns across the country and at his home studio in White Lake, MI.

During the last eight years he has participated in 35 exhibitions (11 solo and 24 two person/group with 3 international), including exhibitions at the Museo del Vino, Laumeier Sculpture Park and The Tarble Arts Center. These exhibitions are representative of his continued interest in sculpture, installation and ceramics as vehicles for self-expression. In 2006 he became a part time studio assistant to Peter Callas until mid-2007 when he was invited to Foshan, China to participate in a wood-firing festival. In 2008 he was invited by sculptor Nino Caruso to Todi, Italy to be his studio assistant for his retrospective “On the Road”. These assistantships and participation were the genesis for his interest in teaching and committing to art as a profession. Since the spring of 2010, he has built several large-scale public works that are installed at SIUE (IL), Josephine Sculpture Park (KY), City of Evansville (IN), City of Frankfort Riverwalk (KY) and in the Granite City Sculpture Park (IL). In the fall of 2011 he established The Placeless Space Studio, an alternative exhibition space, in an 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the grounds of America’s Central Port (ACP), Granite City, IL. The relationship with ACP, through establishing the studio and exhibition, resulted in a public commission for a large steel sculpture titled “Wake of the Flood” which was installed in October of 2012 on the ACP grounds. Shortly after finishing and opening an 8,000 sq. ft. installation at The Placeless Space Studio, Scott accepted the Assistant Professor of Sculpture position at Kentucky State University (KSU), where he taught both traditional and contemporary sculptural practices, along with ceramics for four years. While completing the Spring semester at KSU he was offered and accepted the Sculpture position at Linfield College. He designed, then constructed, two woodkilns in the Midwest before making the long drive to Oregon to start the 2016 Fall semester. Scott is currently building a dynamic Sculpture area at Linfield College with course offerings in metal fabrication, large scale/public sculpture, casting and a digital fabrication/3D print lab. Forthcoming are a number of “Scott Ross Workshops” and lectures, ranging from large-scale public sculpture to kiln building, clay techniques and firing methods. Scott more recently finished a public sculpture commission for the Riverwalk in Frankfort, KY titled “All This President’s Men.” This past October, Scott co-lead a pre-symposium firing of the anagama at the Clay Studio of Missoula, MT with Jody Johnstone. His lecture on his working methods and firing techniques at the Woodfire Symposium: Cultural Confluence in Helena, MT was well received. He will also be leading a firing in April of 2019 at the East Creek Anagama in Willamina, OR. The annual wood firing workshop of the High Lonesome Anagama, at his family home/studio in Union Lake, MI, will be taking place during the month of June, 2019.