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John Neely

American, b. 1953

Tall Footed Pot with Ears: Laterite

Stoneware with laterite surface
20.6 x 7.5 x 5.3 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

John Neely’s artistic production is mainly functional. He is particularly interested in experimental techniques that can be employed in making objects for daily use, such as tableware. An expert in atmospheric firing, he is always looking for new results. The Tall Footed Pot with Ears: Laterite is a thrown stoneware pot, whose red-brown color is obtained by reduction cooling during the firing process, which acts on the laterite, rich in iron oxide, contained in the clay. Neely’s research led him to invent the train kiln, a new model based on the Japanese anagama kiln, built in a sloping form with a firebox at one end and a flue at the other. It has been adopted by potters all over the world.

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1953, Neely studied at Alfred University and received his master’s degree in fine arts from Ohio University in 1982. An important step in his career as potter was a period that he spent in Japan studying and doing research. While there, he worked in Tokyo for several years, and attended Kyoto University of Arts for two years as a postgraduate research scholar. Since 1984, Neely has been a professor of ceramics at Utah State University. Along with being a renowned potter, he is also an active educator and an innovative and prolific researcher.

Sara Eco Conti, PhD

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