Bob Campbell got his first touch of love with pottery when he saw a PBS show of a Japanese potter who went through the entire process of digging clay, throwing pieces, firing and glazing.
"I had done some painting, some drawing, some stained glass, some candle making, some photography, etc. and just thought I'd like to give pottery a try," he says. He made the remark to his wife, who decided that for his 50th birthday she would surprise him with the gift of his first round of classes held at a local Roanoke elementary school with instructor Phil Weaver.
"That was 27 years ago," Bob states with a smile, "and I don't plan on stepping away from the wheel or the slab roller any time soon. The feel of the clay is most rewarding."
Bob shares about what makes clay so appealing to him as an art medium, "I am primarily tactile and then visual, so clay meets those needs. It's really the therapeutic benefits above a certain look or style that keeps him mired in the clay. "Aesthetically," he explains, "the beauty is in the process." Rather than having a definite shape or goal in mind when he sits down at the wheel, Bob says he prefers to let the work evolve as he handles the clay. "I don't always know when I cut a piece of clay and sit at the wheel exactly where I want to go," he shares, "This keeps mystery in the process for me." Perhaps it's the willingness to "go with the flow: that give his work a balanced and fluid style.