About James T. Olney
James started clay work in college graduating with a BA in ceramics from Southwestern University in Georgetown Texas in 2002. He then moved to Pittsboro, NC where he did a formal apprenticeship with master wood fire potter Mark Hewitt from 2002-2005. This type of education is less popular in todays modern world but it serves as the best method for any young mind eager to lean a skill directly from the master.
After his apprenticeship James started his Journeyman status as a potter. First, he worked with master potter Bill Gossman in New London, MN for about 4 months where James learned to use the skills he gained from his apprenticeship and begin pushing his creativity in different directions. James then was shipped off to East Africa, Tanzania where he served as an environmental and small business volunteer in the US Peace Corps from 2006-2008. Here he worked with local farmers and beekeepers learning traditional village farming techniques. James also worked with local potters helping them to find a better market for their work.
The summer and fall of 2009 James spent about 6 months at the Rochester Folk art guild in upstate NY as an artist in residence working with master potter Annie Schliffer. In August of that year James decided it was time to escape the country again. He traveled all over northern India and Kashmir. He made his way through Nepal and then throughout SE Asia visiting many potteries in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
James then returned to Dallas and started working at the Craft Guild of Dallas in 2010. Oak Cliff in South Dallas where he is setting up his own studio. James will focus on gas reduction fired ware for everyday use in the home. He can also be seen selling his wares at the local farmers markets and at shows around the country.