I enjoy making pottery by hand on a foot powered treadle wheel. The physical involvement places me deeper in the process. The gentle sound of the wheel and the soft resistance of the clay in my hand are at once comforting and pleasant. Pleasure is an important element of our life in this world. It gives meaning and balance to the confusion, pain and sorrow we encounter here. I hope that as people take my pottery in hand and raise it to their lips they will recognize some the experience I have had in making it and will find pleasure of their own in use.

I am fascinated with the idea that we are the children of a benevolent creator. The influences that most powerfully shape who we are seem to be located in the household and family. I want my pottery to be there and to promote and influence that growth, however small it's part may be. The family dinner table is sacred space and the venue of first choice for my pottery.

I prefer domestic pottery that is plain, quiet and understated. I try to make pots that will play in the background, that speak gently but carry a great deal of information to those willing to wait and listen. I love the kinds of surfaces derived from wood firing and salt glazing processes. In the case of the wood fired kiln I also enjoy the deeper involvement with process that the stoking of the kiln affords me. I love to sit with a kiln late at night and listen to the wood popping and the quiet sounds of the draft.

Because of my decision to make quiet pottery I have had to leave the more public sales venues of street fairs, shops and galleries and sell my pottery at home where it is made. Somehow that environment shows my work to best advantage. I live and work in small Mormon farming village in the mountains of central Utah. Over the past ten years I have shifted my marketing to bring people to my door rather than sending the work out. This seems to work best and it feels right to me.


Joseph Wood Bennion
PO Box 186
Spring City, Utah

Between 1985 and 1993 I mantained the resume thay appears below. During those years I was active in entering juried exhibitions, attending conferences, teaching workshops nationally and internationally and in publishing my work. Since that time I have intentionaly let that go for the most part. I have entered no competitive exhibitions since 1993. I only sell my work at my own studio and maintain no gallery affiliation. In the place of a resume I now publish my newsletter twice a year. The newsletter is archived at several libraries around the country and serves as a record of my activities as an artist.


1986, MFA Ceramics Brigham Young University

1982, BFA Ceramics Brigham Young University

1980, Tuscarora Pottery School

Selected Exhibitions

1993, NCECA Clay National, San Diego Museum of Art

1992, The Clay Cup IV, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

    7th Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition

    The Clay Place, Pittsburgh, PA One Man Show

    The Bowl, From the 4 Corners of the Earth, Lausanne, Switzerland

1991, Dartmouth College, Hannover, NH One Man Show

    6th Monarch Tile National Ceramics Competition, San Angelo, TX

    Wichita National '91, Wichita, KS

    Works in Clay VII, Wichita Falls Museum, KS

    NEA Fellowships in Clay, Barat College, Lake Forrest, IL

1990, 5th Monarch Tile National Ceramics Competition, San Angelo, TX

    NCECA Clay National, Taft Museum, Cincinnati, OH

    28th Ceramic National, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

    Utah Ceramics 1990, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT

1989, The Wichita National '89, Wichita, KS

    4th Monarch Tile National Ceramics Competition, San Angelo, TX

1988, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI One Man Show

    SIUE Clay National, Edwardsville, IL

    The Clay Cup, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL

1987, Crafts National II, Buffalo, NY

1986, NCECA Clay National, San Antonio, TX

    The Clay Cup, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL

1985, Clay National, Erie Museum, Erie, PA

Awards and recognition

1994, Demonstrating Artist, NCECA Confrence, New Orleans, LA

1991, Emerging Talent, NCECA Confrence, Tempe, AZ

1990, NEA Fellowship Grant, $5,000


"Eloquent Irony: THe Ceramic Art of Juris Bergins" Ceramics: Art and Perception, No 8, 1992

"The Potter's Meal: a Film About Joseph Bennion", Documentary by Steve Olpin

"7th Wichita Falls National" Ceramics Monthly, Nov., 1991

"An Integration of Pots and Life" Ceramics: Art and Perception, No. 6

"American Crafts Classics" Ceramics Monthly, Nov. 1991

"Emerging Talent" NCECA Journal, Vol. 12, 1991-1992

"Functional Expression" Ceramics Monthly, June 1990

"Aesthetics and Process" Ceramics monthly, Mar. 1989

"Utah" Studio Potter, Vol. 17,No. 1

"Aesthetic Communion" Ceramics Monthly, December 1986

"Social, Ethical and Environmental Responsibilities of the Ceramic Artist" NCECA Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2

Presentations and Workshops

Mr. Bennion has presented workshops and lectures in Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Japan, Canada, Jamaica and through out the United States.


Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York

Museum of Fine Art, Tiumeh, Siberia

Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

State Museum of Fine Arts, Riga, Latvia

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Fine Art, Logan Utah

Leningrad School of Higher Learning in Art, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pewabic Society, Detroit, Michigan

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Detroit INstitute of Art, Detroit, Michigan

The Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred, Alfred, New York

The Ceramics Monthly Permanent Collection, Columbus, Ohio

The Utah State Fine Arts Collection

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