Born in Melrose, Ohio in 1922, Clyde Burt would go on to become a major voice in American studio ceramics. He studied at Fort Wayne Art School and later at the Cape Cod School of Art before landing at the Cranbrook Academy of Art to study under Maija Grotell. While Grotell is responsible for bringing the wheel to Cranbrook, Burt made it central to his practice and his thrown works express the same endless curiosity as his teacher. Upon returning to Ohio, Burt built a home studio on his family’s farmland near the Little Auglaize River and harvested rich clay from the surrounding area. He started every day at 5:30 in the morning and would work until he knew he “had enough”. Constantly experimenting with glazes, colors and surface decoration, Burt painstakingly recorded his successes and failures in a small notebook alongside design sketches and visual motifs which he pulled from his dreams. Outside of his studio experimentations, Burt was also sought after by private and corporate clients alike to fulfill commissions, completing large-scale projects for Hedrich-Blessing, Bill Blass and Oldsmobile among others. Today, his work can be found in institutions around the country including the collection of The Cranbrook Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and The Detroit Institute of Art.
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