Steven Branfman (born 1953, L.A. California) grew up in N.Y.C. and credits a rich cultural childhood as being the influence that led him to an art career. He was further influenced by a dynamic high school art teacher particularly in the area of sculpture. Branfman studied art at Cortland State University, New York with Gerald Diguisto (sculpture) George Dugan (drawing) and John Jessiman (pottery). He received his graduate degree at Rhode Island School Of Design working under Norm Schulman and Jun Kaneko. He says of RISD, "The time spent at RISD was the most influential and important experience in my development as an artist. The teachers were dedicated, the students were serious, and the atmosphere was exciting and productive."
Branfman has been an independent studio potter since 1975. In 1977 he founded as his studio, The Potters Shop which has become a nationally known studio, school, and artists workspace, and he now enjoys an international reputation as a potter, teacher, and writer. He is the author of four books, Raku: A Practical Approach first and second editions, published by Krause Publications, The Potters Professional Handbook published by The American Ceramic Society, and the forthcoming Mastering Raku: Making Ware-Glazes-Building Kilns-Firing published by Lark Books. Steven has delivered numerous workshops and presentations and his work has been exhibited in many one person and group shows throughout the U.S. Steven has been the subject of, and has authored many articles on clay. Articles about, or by him have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Crafts Report, Clay Times, Boston Globe, Studio Potter, and Pottery Making Illustrated, among others. His clayworking techniques, examples of his work, and personal profiles appear in many books on pottery and ceramics as well as Who's Who In American Art and Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Steven's time is spent working in his studio, The Potters Shop and School in Needham, writing, traveling to present workshops and demonstrations, and Thayer Academy in Braintree Massachusetts where he teaches pottery. Steven and his wife Ellen live in Newton Massachusetts.
"My concern is to make good pots, pots that hold up to thousands of years of ceramic history. My work is about vessels and the characteristics that make the vessel come alive: volume, texture, color, and scale. One of my objectives is, through my vessels, to preserve the connection between contemporary ceramic expression and pottery's origins as functional containers, not to transform and abandon it. Though my forms are not functional as in domestic ware, they do suggest function and are certainly containers."
Branfman's work appears in private, corporate, and museum collections and has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Selected workshop presentations and guest artist appearances include: Raku Ho'olaule'a, Honolulu; Clay Art Center, NY; Appalachian Center For Crafts, TN; El Olvido Ceramica, Mexico City; Burlington Art Center/Fusion, Toronto; Concordia College, MI; California Association of Clay Artists, CA; Long Island Potters Guild, NY; Triangle Potters Guild, NC; Guilford Handcrafts Center, CT; Munson Williams Proctor Institute, NY; El Camino College, CA; Alfred University, NY; Wesleyan Potters Guild, CT;, Oak Ridge Art Center, TN; Walnut Creek Civic Arts Center, CA; Nottingham Center For The Arts CA; Silvermine Guild School Of Art CT; Campus Brookgreen, SC; Raku Rhody-O, Providence; Oregon College Of Art And Craft; National Council On Education For The Ceramic Arts; Kalkspatz: German Potters Association, Munich; Lehmhuus AG, Basel Switzerland; Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat Belgium; Keramikos, Haarlem Netherlands.
Exhibitions include: Kreft Center For The Arts MI; Esceula De Artesanias Mexico City; Gallery at Keramikos, Netherlands; Dowd Fine Arts Center NY; Fuller Craft Museum MA; Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design; Fitchburg Art Museum MA; Craftsmans Gallery NY; Society Of Arts And Crafts MA; Susan McLeod Gallery FL; Art Complex Museum MA; Surroundings Gallery NY; Currier Art Center NH; American Museum Of Ceramic Art CA; Qartz Gallery, Belgium.
Collections include: Rhode Island School Of Design Museum Of Art, American Museum Of Ceramic Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Schein-Joseph International Museum Of Ceramic Art, Frederick R. Weisman Art Musem, Concordia College, Canadian Clay And Glass Association, Everson Museum, Crocker Museum.