April 24 - May 30, 2015
Asked why he choose to leave a successful career as a ceramics engineer in Taiwan to pursue pottery in the United States, Po-Wen Liu softly replies that his interest has always been in ‘art pottery’ and that a degree in ceramics engineering was the closest education he could receive in his native country. Upon completing his engineering degree at the highly competitive National Lian-Ho University, though, Liu soon found that his days as a ceramics engineer consisted of formulating glazes and clay slips for a large porcelain manufacturer. Liu dreamed of making pots by hand and having a more intimate relationship with his work so he relocated to the United States with his wife and children to attend the School of American Craft in Rochester, NY, before moving on to earn his MFA in Ceramics from Northern Illinois University in 2004.
Now residing in Jamestown, NC, and teaching ceramics at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and at Catawba County Community College, Liu finds himself immersed in the pottery traditions of Seagrove and Catawba County. He has worked closely with North Carolina potter, Kim Ellington, to learn about utilitarian pottery, alkaline glazes, native clays, and groundhog kilns, and has gained an appreciation for the similarities between the ceramics traditions of North Carolina and his native Taiwan. With his background in ceramic engineering, Liu applies his analytical proficiency to the less formal alkaline glaze blends found in North Carolina pottery tradition and has been experimenting with color and opacity to gain more interesting glaze effects in the wood-firings of groundhog kilns.
Long acknowledged for his knowledge of traditional Asian ceramics and glazing, Liu is often sought out for his expertise. In 2002, Liu served as consultant to children’s books author, Linda Sue Park, as she wrote her Newberry Medal-winning book, A Single Shard. Liu is also gaining greater national notoriety in ceramics and was featured last year in Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art Daily.
A sample of work from the show...