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Wayne Higby (aka Donald Wayne Higby)

American, b. 1943

Untitled Bowl

11.5 x 18 x 14.5 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Wayne Higby spent his youth riding horseback through central Colorado’s majestic, unpeopled landscapes, an experience that influenced his ideas of ceramic decoration. In Untitled Bowl, landscape is the vehicle for an introspective, sensual imagery designed around the potter's interest in the horizon line. He has a recurring fantasy that he will travel to the horizon, and slip through it to a place of complete acceptance and knowledge. Higby formed this vessel by shaping clay slabs over a fired clay mold. Adding decorative clay coils, which serve to separate one color from another, he then applied low-fire glazes with a brush and fired the piece in a red-hot kiln. Once the glazes melted and became glassy, he removed the piece from the kiln. This firing method, called raku, combines the virtues of spontaneity with great control, conveying a sense of completeness in which all component parts work with each other.

Higby is known for vessel forms that are distinguished by their rich and innovative imagery. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, both in 1968. From 1968 to 1973, he taught at the University of Nebraska, Omaha; Scripps College, Claremont, California; and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. He is now a professor of ceramics at the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University. Active in many ceramics organizations and arts councils, Higby exhibits his work in major national and international exhibitions.

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