John Baymore has been a professional studio potter for 45 years and currently fires a five chamber noborigama which was completed in 1981 at this studio in Wilton, New Hampshire. He just concluded serving both his term as the President of the Board of Dirctors of the Potters Council of the American Ceramic Society and as Immediate Past President of the Association. He has a family history in ceramics tracing back to the Cook and Mercer potteries in Trenton, NJ from the mid 1800s.
John began woodfiring his student work in 1969 in New Jersey in a small woodkiln he built at his home. John studied ceramics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and was first introduced to Japanese aesthetics and clay work when shown the black and white film, “The Village Potters of Onda” in his Ceramics 1 class. He has also attended classes at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and Rivier College in Nashua, NH. In the past, John has taught continuing education classes at the Danforth Museum School (MA) and the Lee (MA) Art Center, continuing education and BFA/MFA credit courses at Massachusetts College of Art, and BFA/MFA credit courses at Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. He is currently adjunct professor of ceramics at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he has been teaching ceramics studio and technical courses as well as ceramic art history in the undergraduate, certificate, and continuing education programs since the fall of 1995.
He has worked on on the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Curriculum Committee and acted as the chairperson of the NHIA Health and Safety Committee from 1998 through 2006. In AY2005-06 he was the school’s part-time Academic Program Health and Safety Coordinator. He sat on NHIA’s NASAD Accreditation Committee in 1999-2000. He has also worked as a member of the Leadership Advisory Team for the New Hampshire Department of Education.
John has been a presenter at NCECA conferences in Boston in 1984, in Columbus in 1999, in Portland in 2004, Seattle in 2012, and Providence in 2015. He has presented workshops for diverse organizations including such venues as the Alabama Clay Conference, the Harvard University Ceramics Program, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston University, Wellesley College, the Currier Museum of Art, the New Hampshire Potter’s Guild, Emerson Umbrella Art Center, The Potter’s Shop, Mudflat Studio, Clay Dragon Studio, New Hampshire Art Educator’s Conferences, and a NJ State Teacher’s Conference. He recently presented the keynote address for the New Hampshire Art Educator's Association annual meeting at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.
A kiln design and technical consultant for Cutter-Eagle Ceramics from 1978 through 1984, John has been a professional kiln builder since 1973. He was the full-time ceramics technician at Massachusetts College of Art from 1974 through 1978. He has built numerous gas, wood, salt, and soda kilns for potters and craft centers over the years, as far away from home as Richmond, VA in the United States, and also in Japan. John was the online “Kiln Answer Man” for the CraftWEB Project in 1995. He has also done glaze development consulting for the Finer Decoration Division of Sherle Wagner International in 1982 through 1984.
In 2006, John designed and oversaw construction of a large wood kiln at the Kanayama Togei Kumiai in Goshogawara-shi, Japan where it joined the only other non-Japanese designed and built wood kiln installed there by Fred Olsen. During the summer of 2009, John was invited to return to Kanayama to lead the group of international artists in a month long project in building a large wood fired salt kiln. In 1979, John was a consultant for the living history museum, “Old Sturbridge Village“ in Massachusetts, when they constructed a re-creation of a large colonial period wood fired bottle kiln.
John was an invited participant at the First Woodfiring Aesthetics Symposium held at the Japan Society in New York City in 1983, and was included in Gerry Williams' 1997 slide presentation on "Japanese Influences on American Ceramics" at the American Craft Museum in New York City.
He was the recipient of the Judge’s Special Prize in the Mashiko Ceramics Competition in 1996, juried by Shimaoka Tatsuzo and Hamada Shinsaku, and was invited to Japan to receive that award. Both Joan Mondale (representing the US Ambassador to Japan) and the Assistant US Cultural Attache’ to Japan attended the awards ceremony, formally representing the U.S. Government. This exhibition was also attended by the Emperor of Japan. In 2015, one of his handbuilt woodfired Chawan was used for koicha (thick tea) in a formal Tea Ceremony held at the world headquarters of the Uresenke tea school in Kyoto, Japan.
He was an invited presenter at the Aomori International Woodfire Festival in Japan in 2002, an event viewed by 37,000 Japanese citizens, and has also been guest lecturer at the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (Geidai) in the summer of 2004 and again in 2008. In 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009 John was an invited artist-in-residence at the Tsugaru Kanayama Ceramic Cooperative for the international woodfire festival programs held there. In the summer of 2013 John worked at the Kanayama studios producing a body of woodfired work. All in all, John has been invited to travel to Japan in the capacity as a professional ceramic artist on nine separate occasions in the past 15 years, and has lived in Japan for over 2 years.
John was a lecture presenter and demonstrating artist at the International Society for Ceramic Art Education and Exchange symposium held in Tokyo in the fall of 2011. In the spring of 2012 he traveled to MunGyeong, Korea as an invited presenter/participant in the MunGyeong Chasabal (teabowl) Festival. In the spring of 2013 he was a presenter at the 7th Yixing China Ceramic Culture and Art Festival. At that event he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Wuxi Institute of Arts and Technology in Yixing. He returned to the People's Republic of China in 2014 to present and exhibit at the 2nd World Tea Symposium in ChongQing. In 2014 he also was a presenter at the 64th Congress of the International Ceramics Society in Dublin, Ireland.
His work has been acquired for public collections in Japan including the Mashiko Pottery Museum, the Tokyo National University of Art and Music Collection, the Aomori Art Museum, the Goshogawara Art Museum, the Kanayama Resident Artists’ Collection, and Hitachi Corporation headquarters. His work is in the private collections of many Japanese potters including Shimaoka Tatsuzo, Hamada Shinsaku, Matsuzaki Ken, Ogawa Hirohisa, Kondo Hiroshi, Shimada Fumio, Yokou Satoshi, Matsumiya Ryoji, and Shigetoshi Tsuji. His work is also in the collection of the MunGyeong Ceramics Museum in South Korea and the Yixing Ceramics Museum and the World Pottery Capital Ceramics Musueum, both in Yixing, People's Republic of China.
John was selected to be featured in Japanese journalist Yokota Masuo's 2001 Japanese language book on Americans who are greatly influenced by Japanese culture. Also published in the Japanese language, a kiln he built in Japan is featured as the cover shot of issue #79 of the “Aomori Journal” and he has a six page section about him in Matsumiya Ryouji’s new book, “Clay, Fire, and a Stubborn Guy”. John’s influences from Japan are also mentioned in English in Yale University Press’s “Encyclopedia of New England”, and you can find his overglazed woodfired work which is influenced by Hamada Shoji’s work, pictured in Paul Lewing’s ACERS text, “Overglaze and China Paint”. He was most recently featured in Amadeo Salamoni's new book, "Woodfired Ceramics ; 100 Contemporary Artists" and also "Kevin Hulch's new interactive iBook, "American iPotters".
Other text publications involve multiple inclusions in Maureen Mills’, “Ceramic Surface Decoration”, studio information and images in Steven Branfman’s, “Potters Professional Handbook” and a listing in Yankee Magazine’s, “Guidebook to New England Handcraft Centers”. His work has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Log Book, Clay Times, Ceramic Industry, New Hampshire Magazine, and other magazines and newspapers. John has appeared on NHK Television News in Japan a large number of times, in a one hour RAB Television special (Japanese language for domestic use) produced on the Kanayama residency program, on WMUR Television’s “Four O’ Clock Focus”, and on National Public Radio being featured speaking about ceramic toxicology issues in 1976.
Articles by John have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Log Book, The Crafts Report, the NCECA Journal, and other publications. In 1983, John was also a pre-publication content reviewer for Charlotte Speight’s text, “Hands in Clay” and in 2005 for Steven Goldate’s, “Dictionary of World Ceramic Art and Artists”.
Recent exhibitions include an invitational solo exhibition at Chi-Lin Asian Arts Gallery in Meredith, NH in August 2010, "Seacoast Master Artists" invitational at Soo Rye Art Gallery in Rye, NH in July 2010, an invitational solo exhibition at the Thayer Academy Gallery in Braintree, Mass. in January of 2010, "Three in Clay" invitational at Chi-Lin Asian Arts Gallery in 2009, “Faculty Highlights” at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2005 through 2009, “The Vessel” invitastional at the Cunningham Gallery in Jaffrey, NH in 2004 and 2008, “International Resident Artists” at the Kanayama Togei Kumiai in Japan in 2004, 2006, 2008 , 2009, and 2010, at the Aomori International Woodfire Festival in Japan in 2002, and the 67th, 68th, 69th, 70th, and 71st “Regional Juried Exhibition” at the Fitchburg, MA Art Museum. Other recent exhibitions include the 2005 “Endless Variations” NCECA shino invitational in Baltimore, the “1st N.H Ceramics National Biennial”, “Woodfire Potters Invitational” in Manitou Springs, CO, and “Our Cups Runneth Over” invitational at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, where he also had a solo show in 2003. John was one of three invited wood-firing artists (along with Jon Keenan and Marc Lancet) when Tokai Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston held its first-ever showing of any non-Japanese ceramic artists in 2002. John has had work in 13 exhibitions in Japan since 1996.
He is a charter member of the Potter’s Council of the American Ceramic Society, and a member of the American Craft Council, the International Society for Ceramic Arts Education and Exchange, NCECA, the New Hampshire Potters Guild, the Japan Society of Boston, Doshikai Iaido Dojo, and a state-juried level member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.