aka: Richard D. Willis
Beginning in 1956, I took as many courses in ceramics as majoring in chemistry while a student at, then, San Jose State College would permit. Studies and years led to a doctorate in philosophy and university teaching posts in philosophy, and to further courses and workshops in ceramics as both student and teacher. I am now a semi-retired philosopher living just outside a small village on the island of Mallorca, Spain, doing more ceramics than ever.
As a once upon a time Californian, I felt right at home in Mallorca, the principal source of California's early European colonial ambiances, I appreciate the proximity to ongoing traditions in the Mediterranean area, the birthplace of Occidental philosophy and ceramics.
As a ceramicist, for the most part, I work with local raw materials in sun-baked and open-fire cookings. For higher temperature firings I use finely prepared earthenware and stoneware from suppliers of mainland clays, such as those mined around and about Valencia, as traditional to the ceramics of Manises and Paterna, among others. My low-fire works have the aspects of Mallorcan pre-historic earthenwares in fabric and of Californian neo-raku wares in finish. My higher-fire works further this in the direction of celadon.