Husband of Nan McKinnel
James (Jim) McKinnell was born in Nitro, West Virginia, and shortly thereafter his family moved to Seattle. He studied ceramic engineering for his 1941 BS and 1947 MS degrees at the University of Washington, where he met his wife Nan during a slip-casting seminar led by Swiss artist Paul Bonifas. In the Navy, Jim was stationed in Hawaii during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After the war the couple used his GI Bill money to study in France, England, and Scotland. They married in 1948 in Baltimore, and moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1951. They set up a pottery studio and taught at the University of Colorado, but often packed a portable kiln and lived in a trailer while they drove from place to place with their daughter and several dogs. From 1952 until 1970 McKinnell was an engineer for the Boeing Company in Seattle. From 1973 to 1987 Nan and Jim taught at Loretto Heights College in Denver, and Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Their work is nationally and internationally known. They were inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 1988.