Ian Bassett is a visual artist and potter living in The San Francisco East Bay. He was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in Connecticut on Long Island Sound. He received his BFA in Ceramics from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, a Post Baccalaureate in Ceramics from Hood College and his MFA in ceramics from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts.
He currently is a Lecturer at Sonoma State College and an Adjunct Professor at Los Medanos College. In the past he has taught at Diablo Valley College, was the Studio Technician at Art Academy University and the Ceramics Studio Manager at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residencies.
Some of the main influences in my work are English Slipware, Japanese and Korean folk pottery, Minnesota potters and North American Appalachian pottery. These regions, time periods and approaches to making pottery create the foundation for the work I make. Nature has a huge influence on me, and I try to capture a sense of movement and energy through my gestural mark-making. The mark-making on my pots is reminiscent of Impressionist paintings but subtractive instead of additive essentially a sgraffito approach.
I am drawn to soda and wood firing. I experiment with numerous flashing slips and several commercial clay bodies where I slowly develop my vocabulary to achieve surface results and colors that are of interest to me. Wood and soda firing provide subtle and dramatic surfaces that I find to be alluring. This tension creates a balance and sense of harmony that I love exploring.