Don Reitz
Clay, Fire, Salt, and Wood
Jody Clowes

Fearless improvisation and revival in American studio ceramics

Don Reitz is recognized as one of the most important and influential ceramic artists of this century. Trained at Alfred University in the early 1960s, Reitz has pursued a life-long investigation of salt and wood firing of his ceramic pieces in order to preserve the energy and freshness of his artistic marks and gestures. Finding that the texture and unpredictability of salt-firing suited his work, Reitz almost single-handedly revived this neglected technique, and through long experimentation developed a range of colors and surface effects previously unknown in salt-firing. Juggling and manipulating the variables in each firing, Reitz is a virtuoso who relishes knowing what he can control and what he cannot. His work maintains a fine balance between technical mastery and improvisation. The Elvehjem Museum of Art (Now Chazen Museum of Art) retrospective features some seventy-four ceramic works that Reitz created between 1960 and the present.

Don Reitz taught in the University of Wisconsin–Madison art department from 1962 to 1988. In 2002 he received one of the highest honors in his field when the American Craft Council awarded him their Gold Medal. Jody Clowes is an independent art scholar and exhibition curator.

This title was distributed for the Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of WisconsinMadison

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cover of book about Reitz has a photo of a pot or vase in earthen colors

July 2005
112 pp. 8 1/2 x 11
72 color photos
ISBN 978-0-932900-01-2 Paper

This title is now out-of-print

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