RobRoi Ceramic Design
I have been a painter and designer since receiving my BFA in printmaking at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and my MFA in painting at Claremont Graduate University in California.
Moving to New York in 1977 furthered my committment to both the fine and the applied arts. Working at The Drawing Center, The American Crafts Museum and The Heller Gallery provided ample opportunities to emmerse myself in both worlds, as did exhibiting my "Pattern Paintings" with Barbara Gladstone Gallery in NY and Bruno Bischofberger in Switzerland.
In 1983 I began a long and rewarding career as Director of Decorative Painting with Evergreene Architectural Arts in NYC. My fine arts background and passion for the decorative arts were a perfect marriage for the position that I held for 32 years. During my tenure, I designed and invented hundreds of decorative finishes for some of the most important interiors around the country. I have led workshops, lectured, written articles and advised architects and interior designers too numerous to name.
Along the way, I began to work in clay, mostly as a way to have a more personal, creative expression than I could working in a large decorative painting firm. Little did I think it would become the passion that it has become. For many years now, my ceramic studio practice, RobRoi Design, has been a vibrant part of my life. However, only in the past year since retiring from Evergreene have I been able to devote myself full time to producing the ceramic work that I love.
Once again, I walk a thin line between the two worlds of fine and applied art. Yes, I'm a ceramic artist and a designer making functional items, vessels that hold things. I am also a painter, an artist concerned with the skin, the vessel that holds the vessel; with references to historic and contemporary patterns that give layers of depth both visual and metaphorical. My long standing passion for pattern, in nature, human nature and in the man-made world continues to provide inspiration.
Why ceramics? I love manipulating the clay to create the shapes that I have envisioned and then... the surrender that occurrs as the piece goes into the kiln to be completed by fire. That completion always brings about unanticipated results, disrupts the pattern if you will. This disruption never fails to teach me, surprise me, excite me, upset me, delight me...and keeps me coming back for more.