I had the pleasure of meeting with artist Brian Bosworth. We discussed his shop in Joshua Tree, BKB Ceramics (bkbceramics.com), the split in his practices of functional work and sculptural work, and his relationship to the desert. Before we met in person I sent Brian a few questions via email to get the ball rolling, here are a few short answers, listen in to the podcast to hear the whole story.
ES: Tell us a little about who you are, where are you from originally? I have been to your shop in Joshua Tree, it is amazing, such great work. Tell us how you ended up in Joshua Tree and how the shop got started.
BB: Originally, my wife and I are from the San Joaquin Valley area. We moved to Claremont where I attended grad school and then later we moved to LA. We wanted to home school our two boys and decided the desert was the best place to do that. I started doing ceramics again after being out here and began a series of ceramic planters for HDTS (High Desert Test Sites).
ES: I was in a show with you actually a year ago at OutPost Projects (Outpostprojects.org) in Yucca Valley, I saw your sculptural wall pieces, which are very different from your pottery. They were so beautiful; can you tell us about that body of work?
BB: That work evolved from bringing together my sculptural practice with my ceramic work. It was more of a period of experimentation with firing and materials into a formal context. This was a continuation of my earlier sculptural work playing with the tenuous nature of materials.
ES: Do you feel like you have two separate practices in making objects? Or do you feel they are extensions of one another?
BB: I do feel like they are separate practices because the intent is different. The pottery and ceramic work are very design driven and have to be controlled to some extent in order to be consistent and sell. The process is very much the same though. I struggled with some of the pottery designs and how controlled they seemed but looking at many of the sculptures I’ve done I find that there is a rigidity that is balanced with the abject/expressive side.
ES: I heard you are building/working on a cabin that will have a studio etc. on the grounds. What part of town is this in? Tell us about that process of building your space
BB: We bought a five acre property in The Highlands on the road to the National Park. It has a 1965 cabin and various other structures. We’ve gutted the original and intend to turn it into a livable studio space. I am hoping to make the studio accessible to the public by offering ceramic classes and workshops in the future. The property has a couple other structures that can be remodeled to be livable. So hopefully we can offer these as temporary living situations for friends and artists.
ES: How do you like being out here? What are your thoughts on making work in the desert, how does the landscape play in to your work?
BB: The desert offers freedom for self-reflection and the opportunity to make art only for oneself. Conditions can be extreme; the work reflects that subtle palate where color is dissolved. Materials are reduced to the essence or essentials.
ES: You also teach, where do you teach? How does, if at all, teaching relate to your practice?
BB: I teach Sculpture, 3-D design and ceramics at Chaffey college, VVC (Victoville College), and CMC (Copper Mountain College).