Introduction by  Dick Lehman:
Almost 40 years ago I did my very first ceramics marketing event: an art show in Indiana.  Across the way was John Bauman, one of my heroes.  He’d already been working in clay longer than I had.  A hero to me then; a hero to me now.  

Very near that time I purchased a pie plate from John.  I began using it right away.  And I’ve continued to use it regularly, right up to this day - as recently as last week.  It maintains the kind of beauty, durability and integrity that I associate with John and his work.

If you are interested in learning about clay over the long haul, solving technical problems, marketing to a changing market, continuing to make what you love despite a changing market, developing relationships with customers, learning incredibly-well-crafted technique…….John’s the person!

And if, more than that, you’d like to hear about these things in a poetic, thoughtful, and reflective way, I’d recommend a workshop with John.  No matter if you are near the beginning of your career, or if there are fewer days with clay before you than behind you, time with John will be well-invested.

If you take in only one workshop this year…if you invite only one artist to your clay guild…if you get to vote on only one visiting artist to come to your school…..make it John.

-Dick Lehman

J O H N   B A U M A N 

For forty years I’ve been forging a living for myself and my family by making and selling pottery.

You might remember the 
Clay Times cover story ten years back…

Or maybe you read one of the Ceramics Monthly articles I
wrote about my old kiln, or about dealing with burnout...

Or maybe you remember that I was the second studio visited
when Ceramics Monthly began their “Studio Visits” segment.
From that article, surely you remember my dog, Breeze...

And maybe you’re one of the thousands who have read some of my pottery poems, prayers, and parodies on my blog --


Though I am part of that family of American potters raised on craftsmanship, detail, design, and function, I just might have arrived into that family by a different route – a route that involved a lot of trial and error and learning things in a manner different from my contemporaries. 

That means my pottery isn’t like anyone else’s.

Through my 40 years of practical experience in clay I have been well prepared to meet the aspiring potter at the point of their curiosity, get them where they want to go, develop a vocabulary in clay, and learn ways to make their own pots say what they want them to say.

Here are what some attendees said about my latest workshop:

“I have been responsible for arranging workshops for my potters' guild for almost thirty years. During this time we have had the pleasure of learning from dozens of potters, some of whom are internationally well-known, some of whom have more modest reputations; some of whom have out-sized egos and some not. John was a pleasure to work with from start to finish. He responded to requests in a timely fashion, he worked enthusiastically with me to coordinate our schedules and his needs for the weekend, he arrived organized and prepared at the designated place without fanfare. During the weekend he worked tirelessly to show us his techniques, to share his enthusiasm both for his own work and for clay in general, and to keep us amused with anecdotes during the slower periods. He left my guild members, experienced potters and workshop attendees all, filled with enthusiasm and admiration. Each of us felt we had learned something valuable and were pleased to have spent a weekend with such a talented and generous person.” -Pamela Timmons, Workshop Chair, Greater Lansing Potters' Guild”

“You really got us thinking about pottery form and surface as “curb appeal”. I’ve been seeing members trying out roped rims, citrus zester carving, modeled knobs and interesting handles all inspired by your workshop demonstrations. I’m looking forward to trying some of your slip decorating techniques in my salt kiln this summer.” –Sara Laitala

 “Your workshop fed right into my primary pottery focus—functional pieces with interesting incised designs and amendments. I made special note of your pitcher design— especially your treatment of the neck area, the spout development and the shape and attachment location of the handle. Your technique for attaching strap handles to low bowls makes all kinds of sense and creates a very appealing aesthetic. AND last but not least your herringbone ware glazed in green was a WOW for me. Your incising instruction was extremely helpful and having the glaze recipe available for our use will make a similar project great fun to try. It was an amazing fun week-end! Thanks for your comfortable instructional style and sharing your well-mastered techniques and great stories with us” -Joan Witter 

“Besides enjoying of seeing the whole process of making pots by you, it was also nice to see how well you were keeping the audience attention. And it was VERY interesting to listen your life stories. They are a big inspiration for me! “ -Svetlana Kirillova “

John is a soulful and thoughtful artist who punctuates his demonstrations with genuine reflections on his personal and professional life - how he got to where he is, how he approaches his work, and the challenges of making a living as a potter He has a large bag of tricks and shares his knowledge willingly with all in attendance. A two-day workshop with John was time well-spentnd thoroughly enjoyable. “ -Bill Guerin

The techniques I can demonstrate aren’t simply academic exercises or experiments. They are road-tested ideas that have proven themselves over thousands of pieces.  Marketable pieces.

 So marketable that in my forty-year career I have been the top pottery seller at several of the largest art fairs in the country – Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, and Saint James Court Art Show, Dillsboro Potter Festival just to name a few. 

I have worked with slips from day one. I’ve always been drawn to the immediacy of decorating the raw pot. I’ve trailed, masked, combed, feathered, marbled, textured, brushed, and stenciled slip on thousands of pots in hundreds of ways

I’ve also worked in even more direct ways with the surface:
carving, faceting, stamping.

But I also know when to let go and let glaze and form speak for itself.

I have a reputation for a great deal of detail in my work. But if I’m well known for something, it might just be my nature-themed work – gourds, pumpkins, acorns, leaves.

If you are interested in having me present a workshop for you or your organization, please contact me using the information below:

 John Bauman 
506 S. Zimmer Rd Warsaw, IN 46580

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