Bruce Arlen Wasserman Studio

biography

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I grew up with a fascination for how things are created and how they interact, so it is natural that I would eventually find my way to working in clay. As a child, I began by disassembling and later reassembling whatever I could get my hands on. This no doubt caused some consternation for my parents and has given them interesting stories to tell their friends throughout their lives.

I graduated to becoming a bicycle mechanic and later building bikes from scratch. I was an accomplished bike mechanic as a teenager. With a love of creative writing and music, its not surprising that I pursued these interests with the results of my own book of poetry by age 18, and a part time career as a musician during my teenage years. But, I wanted more.

The fluidity of iron at temperatures near its melting point was a temptation more than I could bear, so as a 19 year old, I began a career as an apprentice blacksmith. I later became a journeyman and built my own shop, Walden Forge, in Northern Minnesota. During this time in my life I also worked in wood, building furniture and creating carved pieces.

Later, in college at Winona State University in Minnesota, studying for my degree in mass communications allowed me to further develop my writing skills as well as pursue interests in landscape photography, photojournalism and filmmaking.

With a deep desire to make a contribution for a better world and my understanding that my future needed to include hands-on creation, I studied for a career in dentistry at University of the Pacific in San Francisco. I also became familiar with lost wax casting and added jewelry making to my skills. My path led me to deepen my experience with creating art pieces in wood and iron, which I sold through local galleries.

I have always had a curiosity about clay, and when an opportunity came to learn the basics, I took it. Needless to say, in a very short time I was hooked on this amazing artistic medium. I studied under Montana potter Dave McMasters, then later in Colorado at Anderson Ranch Arts Center under Doug Casebeer and Jason Hess, where I was exposed to wood fire for the first time. I came back from Colorado determined to build my own studio… and I did, with my own hammer and nails. It was exciting that my young grandson was here visiting in Wyoming and he helped me raise the first walls.

When the studio was functionally complete, I was fortunate enough to participate in the building of a large wood fired train kiln at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana. I have enjoyed firing this kiln and have produced a body of work from it.

I recently completed the construction of a kiln shed next to my studio, and have moved in a gas fired updraft kiln. I love the interaction of gas reduction firing with the glazes I have developed, and I am firing this kiln regularly. I have built a small gallery space at the studio where I display my work, and sell my work through galleries in Montana, Wyoming and online.