My artwork is most inspired by natural wilderness, in particular the expansive landscapes and skies of the American Southwest and the pristine lake regions of the northern boreal forest.
A native of the Chicago area, I first discovered my passion for pottery when I was 18. After graduating from Oberlin College with a degree in Studio Art and Art History, I moved to Philadelphia to join The Clay Studio. I also attended workshops and visited the studios of artists whose work fascinated me – Warren Mackenzie, Harry Davis, Paul Soldner, William Daley, Ruth Duckworth, Donald Judd, and David Davison.
I apprenticed for two years with David Davison, potter and professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and collaborated extensively with painter and mail-artist Harley. I have also designed and built numerous stoneware kilns, including one at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and several at Oberlin College.
My wife Paula Aghajanian and I renovated an old Ohio farmhouse and built my studio and kilns, establishing Breuer Pottery Studio and Gallery in 1982. During the last three-and-a-half decades, Paula and I have focused on creating a beautiful and nourishing environment in which to live, work, and raise a family. In my studio, I have created over 14,000 pots, and I continue to explore the infinite possibilities of the simple materials that I have chosen to work with. My most recent work has focused on hand-built forms in collaboration with my daughter, Noël.
In pottery, unlike most other arts, throughout the process there are many indeterminable variables that effect the outcome. For example, no two kiln firings produce the exact same color or textural effects. I structure my creative process and choose materials to encourage fortuitous events that often produce uniquely beautiful surprises. When these occur I set about mastering the ability to recreate them while continuing to remain open to new possibilities. For me, pottery is about the process, not the product. A finished pot captures a moment in time in the dialog between the potter and the materials.
I consider weight, volume, mass and balance as I create my forms. I explore line, color and texture and I pay special attention to the character expressed. However, there is much more than this to consider as I focus my creative energy. I strive to balance a myriad of feelings, hopes and vision with the potential of the material, my abilities and the practical constraints of daily life. My creative involvement with pottery is really a reflection of my approach to life.
A successful piece both reveals the artist's experience of creating and reflects the mystery of life.