Basic to man’s nature is the urge to create, to shape and control his surroundings. Common materials from his environment acquire new substance and meaning when united to suit his needs. Earth, Water, and Fire, the most basic of elements, are the Potter’s Media. His tools are simple, a wheel, a knife, scraps of wood, his hands. With these he forms objects of use and beauty, reflecting both his own personality and that of his culture.
Marvin Bjurlin has been working with clay for over 50 years in his studio in Fredonia, NY. In 2018 the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY, Fredonia honored his ongoing career with a major Retrospective Exhibition. It featured samples of his work with various clays fired in electric, gas, and most recently wood-fueled kilns.
Studio & Kiln Site
I have lived and made pottery at this same address for more than 45 years. The property was purchased initially as a convenient home adjacent to the college where I began a ceramics teaching career in 1968. Now retired from teaching, I still enjoy my profession in clay. The studio showroom has an extensive collection of recent and older pottery and sculpture for sale.
The studio overlooks the back yard where I continuously pursued my other passion: vegetable and perennial gardening.
Over time both my ceramic work and gardening style have evolved dramatically. Having made functional pottery during most of my career, my recent work in clay develops a marine theme of wood fired sculptures based upon fish. Currently the vegetable garden consists of 30 raised beds devoted entirely to heirloom plants. Its abundance provides my wife and I with organic produce for the entire year! I am happy to share stories about my gardening with visitors. The photographs below show my kiln site under construction and use since 2016.