ABOUT RODNEY MOTT
Rodney’s experience as a ceramic artist began in 1972 at Los Altos High School in California, working with clay, acquiring skills on the pottery wheel, and selling his pottery at a local shop. At Penn State University, while majoring in English and studying poetry, Rodney continued to maintain an interest in ceramic art. After coursework under Dave Dontigny and Jim Stephenson, he was further inspired when introduced to Paul Soldner’s artwork. After receiving his B.A. Degree at Penn State University in 1984, Rodney began graduate work at Claremont Graduate School in southern California. There, as a student of Paul Soldner, he also worked as Soldner's teaching assistant in 1986 through receiving his M.F.A. Degree at Claremont Graduate School in 1987. Rodney returned to northern California where he continued creating and teaching art. Shortly thereafter, he met Daniel Rhodes and developed an interest in woodfired ceramics. By 1990, Rodney built his first woodfire kiln in Volcano, California.
Rodney founded "Woodstoke," ceramic woodfiring workshops held on his studio grounds in Penryn, CA, which hosts nationally and internationally recognized artists demonstrating their skills while a multi-day woodfiring also takes place. By 2001, his “Woodstoke” event became the cover story for the October/November issue of the ceramic trade publication, Clay Times. Rodney’s artwork was the cover article for Clay Times for a second time in the May/June issue 2002. Ceramics: Art + Perception has also featured Rodney Mott's "Time Capsule Kiln" project in 2018.
While inspired by Picasso and Modigliani, much of Rodney’s work is influenced from the early Greek geometric period. Common motifs found in his art are simple figures, pottery forms as well as simplified scenes of life. Rodney utilizes multiple methods of creative expression, which include pottery, ceramic sculpture, bronze sculpture, painting, and clay monoprint. Rodney has been an active participant in his local community. In 2005, he was Juror of the National Ceramic Competition and Exhibition Feats of Clay XVIII in Lincoln, California.
For over four years, with the help of and clay supplied by Michael Haney of East Bay Clay, Rodney coached hundreds of classrooms in northern California, at no cost to the schools, inspiring over 1600 children along with their teachers to create with clay.
May 2018 marked the completion of a two year project when the woodfiring took place of the Noborigama kiln in Penryn, CA of the "Time Capsule." The 3 day woodfiring culminated in concrete and cinder blocks sealing the kiln with the artwork inside sight unseen. In time, nature will take over forming a topiary over this unopened kiln, which was fired almost a hundred times.