Joe Robinson & Aubrey Sloan
Aubrey Sloan is a full time artist and BFA in ceramics from Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX. She lives and works at East Creek Art in Willamina, OR, developing programs, teaching workshops, and creating work in her studio space. Aubrey is also a studio member of Stark Street Studios and Gallery, the longest running collective ceramics studio in Portland, and an active member of the Oregon Potters Association.
Aubrey’s work focuses on developing the surface of each piece through hand carved textures. The sinuous and intentional movement of the carving process across the exterior surface of each piece creates a landscape inspired aesthetic. Each surface is influenced by the consideration of the shape of the form, and reference to textures of fluid movement and geological development in nature.
Joe Robinson (b1987) was born and raised in Oregon. He first touched clay in public school at age 13 and has been making works in clay on the potter’s wheel for over 20 years. Joe attended Linfield College as an undergraduate, obtaining dual BA degrees in Studio Art and Business. After graduating from Linfield, Joe began a corporate career in Los Angeles. In 2018, he jettisoned the corporate chains and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Applied Craft and design from Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. He now teaches ceramics at Linfield University and is co-owner of the 20 acre East Creek Art center located in Oregon’s coastal mountains near rural Willamina.
Joe’s works focus on master craftsmanship interacting with the unpredictable nature of open flame kilns. The clay works serve as canvases for flames to paint on, encouraging micro-geological movements in erosion, accumulation, and melting. The majority of Joe’s work is fired in wood burning kilns, of which there are two of on the East Creek property. One of these kilns is 40 feet long, burning 30,000 lbs of waste wood over the course of 5 consecutive days and nights to achieve top temperatures of 2,400 F. Joe also works in raku and pit fired methods, which are lower temperature processes burning gas in smaller kilns.
A significant portion of Joe’s work is in collaboration with his partner Aubrey Sloan, who adds relief carved detail to his large thrown pots. These carvings speak to the environment in which they are executed; many are made close to water in Oregon’s coastal mountains or overlooking Tillamook Bay from Bay City, OR.
Aubrey Sloan and Joe Robinson began their partnership and collaboration in April 2020. Their shared passion for community and pottery brought them together around the firing of East Creek’s 40 foot wood bringing Anagama style wood burning pottery kiln. Each shared an appreciation for the other’s work- Joe’s large forms seemed the perfect canvas for Aubrey’s hand-carved textures. They began by working on larger pieces, and with successful results expanded their collaboration into both small and large vessels.
Our collaborative work speaks to the wind, the ocean, and the earth. Made in proximity to the water, each piece was hand thrown on the potters wheel by Joe Robinson and carved by Aubrey Sloan. Each work is fired with trees and air from Oregon’s coastal mountains for 5 days and nights around the clock. Our pieces are inspired by the movements of the water observed from our Bay City home overlooking Tillamook Bay; the pots serve as a record in stone of artist and water.
The collaborative pieces are made from stoneware clay and fired in the East Creek Anagama for 5 days and nights to 2400F. The pots are unglazed; all the color and glass accumulated on the surfaces are the product of the action of the wood burning.
Joe Robinson is proprietor of East Creek Art, Linfield University art faculty, and holds an MFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft.