Eric Stearns

Pierced Precision

July 17th – 21st, 2017

Eric Stearns creates thrown and pierced forms that are raku fired in an electric kiln with minimal smoke escaping during the reduction. This course will take you step-by-step through his design and making process, including pattern creation and execution, piercing and finishing the clay, bisque firing and then applying tape resist and raku glazes to enhance and compliment the original design.


Eric was born near North Platte, Nebraska. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2003 from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. He then opened his first studio, Stearns Ceramics, in North Platte.

After a couple of years teaching full-time, working in his studio, and assisting his family on the ranch, he re-committed to his art and \ received a Master of Fine Arts studying under Linda Ganstrom at Fort Hays State University in 2008. 

Eric returned to Doane College after receiving his MFA and is now Associate Professor and Chair of the Art Department. When not teaching, Eric spends time in the studio creating sculptural pierced raku art.

stearns_acrimonious_gamble stearns_hope stearns_wanted stearns-making-09

Artist Statement

My work is made in an effort to strike a chord with the viewer that conveys a fragile and fleeting existence. The Raku process is used to accentuate the intersecting fragility of life, passionate connections, and the pain of betrayal, using the matrix of the objects to allude to these concepts.  Using an interest in mathematics, I create patterns and explore the relationships between those patterns as well as the effect of the color and texture of the glaze on those patterns to elicit emotional responses. Each piece created is an attempt at a reflection of who I am as a person and as an artist at the moment my hands touch the clay and the continues through the glazing and firing processes.  In this reflection, my hope is that a viewer can find a connection to their own experiences on this journey of life.  In everyday life we journey different paths, following passions and making decisions that conflict with emotional responses. The web of paths interconnect and fit together to create patterns in our life, helping to lead us toward the next challenging path. The work I endeavor to create is in an effort to map those choices, pinpointing and illuminating the fractures and fragility of the emotional bonds that can bring meaningful connection…  bonds that can be strengthened or destroyed at any moment. 

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