Frank Boyden (American, born 1942) works in ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, and public art. He founded Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in 1970 and the Margery Davis Boyden writing residency program in 1991. He and his wife Jane live at the mouth of the Salmon River on the Oregon coast. Boyden’s artistic practices reflect his lifelong interests in the environment and the biological sciences. He received degrees from Colorado College and Yale University.
Boyden was trained as a painter, printmaker and art historian but in 1968 got seduced by clay and the world of the ceramic arts. In 1972 he stopped painting and gave his full time to clay. Because of his skills as a draftsman he began the journey of learning how to incorporate drawing techniques onto vessels and other ceramic objects and this journey continues to this day. From 1968 to 1981 he worked mostly with native materials and clays and low temperature firing techniques. During that time he received grants to study Pre-Columbian as well as contemporary ceramics in the Peruvian jungles. He also received a coveted National Endowment for the Arts grant. In 1984 he built the sixth anagama kiln in America and has spent the time since then perfecting the discipline of wood firing at high temperatures. Since 1993 he has worked only with porcelain. What sets Boyden’s work alone and makes it cohesive through the 40+ years is his energetic and fluid incised drawings on vases.
Boyden believes that his ceramics and the subject matter of the decorations should reflect his interests in his immediate environment in both visual and biological formats. Because of this, he has concentrated his imagery to correspond with the animals that populate his estuary environment.
Boyden has conducted hundreds of workshops and lectures around the world. He has acted as advisor and guest editor for Ceramics Art and Perception and Studio Potter periodicals. He is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and NCECA.