Bob Allen- Ceramics & Pottery
My interest in art began with classes at Granite City High School and has grown steadily over the last fifty years. In 1963, I graduated with an art degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. I taught elementary art in Ladue for a couple years and in 1965 enrolled in Illinois State University to pursue a Master's Degree in Art. I took my first clay class there and was captivated by the physicality and excitement of making pots.
After receiving my Master's Degree in 1967, I returned to Southern Illinois University where I was an adjunct faculty member and received a Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1969. In 1970, I was hired to develop the clay program at Meramec Community College where I taught for thirty-three years. During my tenure there, I arranged over one-hundred workshops and demonstrations by notable clay artists for my students. I also served as Chairman of the Art Department at Meramec, taught at Maryville University, served on the board and as chairman of the potters at Craft Alliance, taught in the MAT program at Webster University, and exhibited widely in the St. Louis area and at various midwestern art fairs.
I had solo shows at Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, University of Missouri at St. Louis, Mary Institute and Craft Alliance, as well as group shows at the St. Louis City Art Museum and the St. Louis Historical Society.
In 2002, I received the Faculty Lecture Award at Meramec. I retired from teaching in 2003, and in 2004 became one of the original artists working and exhibiting at the Foundry Art Centre in downtown St. Charles. I make traditional ceramic forms with glazes I have developed over the years, as well as clay caricatures of classic cars that I Raku.
After fifty years, I still find the process of making, glazing, and firing pottery very exciting and rewarding. My major goal is to make a personal statement in clay. This is a difficult task, and my work has been influenced by many generations of potters. However, I have spent much time developing glazes, decorating slips, and decorating techniques that are uniquely my own.