John Cohorst


Born and raised in Kansas, ceramic artist John Cohorst creates both functional and sculptural ceramic art. He received his B.F.A. and M.A. from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg Kansas, where he concentrated in functional ceramics. After graduating, he accepted a position as an artist assistant at Jun Kaneko’s Studio, in Omaha Nebraska. Shortly after leaving the Kaneko Studio, he traveled to Japan and studied wood firing techniques in the ancient kiln­site town of Tokoname. In 2012 he was accepted as an artist in residence at the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colorado. After completion of that residency John moved into the Studio for Arts and Works (SAW) where his studio is currently located. John’s work has been shown in numerous galleries throughout the Mid­West, as well as internationally in Japan, China, and Italy.

Artist Statement

My work explores ideas of the mysterious and the mundane. I transition my thoughts of the day to illustrations on my pottery. Capturing my thoughts and observations on these moments in our culture. I let the pots I create become a canvas for contemporary thought. They can range from contemporary music lyrics to the esoterica of physics and paranormal events.
I use the astronaut illustration to capture the viewer, draw them in and make them look closer. Astronauts represent so many aspects of the human condition that anyone can find something of themselves in it; the explorer, the space cadet, the scientist, the outsider, etc. They are the entry point, looking deeper can reveal more.
The Greeks and Egyptians were able to tell future generations volumes about what they knew through their use of imagery . I hope my pots can reveal contemporary thoughts on the relationships of earth’s ecology and how that expands and encompasses our understanding of the universe.
However, not every piece needs to fit such lofty goals, they can be simple snap- shots of a moment in the studio. They could reference a song or a podcast that I’m listening to. They can be useable and make people happy. And even that is a statement about our times.

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