Lars VoltzBemidji, Minnesota

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Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2015-17

Lars Voltz grew up in Bemidji, MN. It was during his study at Bemidji State University where he found the enriching impact and potentials a life in clay can offer. After receiving his BS in Art Education in 2009, he went on to graduate study at Wichita State University. In 2014, he earned his MFA, the art history portion of which was completed in Japan, Cuba, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The following Fall Lars moved to Shawano, WI with his wife Joyce St. Clair, to apprentice with Simon Levin. During that year he traveled to Hangzhou, China to build wood kilns for the China Academy of Arts. Lars completed residencies at the Red Lodge Clay Center, Iowa Ceramics Center and Studio Nong and has lectured and demonstrated throughout the United States.  Notably, Lars has exhibited work at the Bienal de Curitiba in Brazil, The Archie Bray Foundation, the Collective Design Fair in New York City, and the Guangxi Art Academy.


My explorations within geologic phenomenon, language, mass and volume sustains connections with base materials and environments.  Vessels built upon dynamic forms, diversely bodied clay and turbulent, colorful wood-fired surfaces assert a continued geologic impact on our understanding of the conditions of contemporary life.

Creating ceramic vessels that share aspects of the geologic world and domestic space fascinates me. Smooth volumes, stressed surfaces, thick slashes, jagged edges and ripped segments of a vessel act as abstracted conduits to potent Earth features and physicality while not obliterating vessel space.  Compressing rugged forms with volume in this way evokes reactive spatial relationships. Ranges of color and texture built in the volatile atmosphere of a wood kiln extend connections to material diversity reflected in the world. Dynamic additive and subtractive layers of information, developed through forming and firing, reveals constantly shifting perspectives to massive geologic systems.

I make pottery that places massive tectonics within domestic, lived space. By exploring tensions between chaos and calm, I strive to uncover new ideas about uncontrollable dynamic forces and contained expanses.