Born in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1961, John O’Brien was introduced to ceramic art in his first year of high school at East Brunswick High School. He knew right away this was what he wanted to do. Learning everything he could from his instructors, two of which greatly influenced his drive to become a creative and skilled potter.
John has resided in Florida for over 25 years and has participated in group and two person shows, been juried into Art Galleries and Organizations and has also participated as one of three judges for ArtFest under 20 which presented $6,000.00 in awards. Being competitive by nature John has always taken his art seriously continuing to learn and challenge himself. He strives to create something that has not already been created. John has studied every aspect of the art form – from building his own wheels and kilns, to the chemistry of the clay and glazes. He has more than 35 years invested in his knowledge and ability of ceramic art.
Presently, throwing on the wheel and sculpting are his primary forms. He tends to have an Asian influence in his pieces, elegant flowing lines, gentle shapes and fine detail. Nature is also shown in his art work; many pieces have the beauty of our area reflected in the decoration.
John looks at a vessel as if it is a circular canvas. Therefore much of his work is not just a wheel thrown vessel, but a “painting” in clay surrounding the piece. Not only are they “painted” with glazes, but incised to form texture and add depth. A dimensional canvas of expression is one way to describe the artwork of John O’Brien. Whether it is a graceful vase or a sculpture making a statement he is always pushing the limitations of the medium. John works mainly with porcelain, stoneware and premium porcelain mixes, which beautifully compliment his exquisite vessels and imaginative sculptures.