Jack's Biography

I was born in Oakland, California and spent my early life as a Coast Guard brat. When my father retired, we moved to Eureka, California, a most excellent place to grow up. After graduating from high school with neither the grades nor the money to go away to college, and not wanting to work in the woods or the mills, I enrolled at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California, eight miles from home.

The Art Department line was much shorter than the English Department line, so I became an Art major. Besides, the course names were more interesting. While taking my first sculpture class, I found soapstone. It has been my media ever since.

After failing to attend non-art classes enough to get passing grades, I dropped out of school and found myself working full time at a very boring job. This lasted until I managed to get myself fired. The final alternative was going into the service, which I did. This taught me I should find something useful to do with my life. Four years later, I went back to college and finally graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Art.

I then, having neither the grades or money to go to graduate school, became a teacher. I had the good fortune to teach pottery and stone carving at one of the best high schools in California - Nevada Union in Grass Valley. Thirty years later, I gave up that job to make stuff full time. I now sleep through the night with only occasional anxiety attacks relating to teaching. I will never get my hair back, but I have lost weight (the high school kitchen made very good chocolate chip cookies). I can spend twelve to fourteen hours a day playing and never get tired. I have achieved the perfect life.

My work is a synthesis of pottery and stone carving, using the classic shapes of Oriental and European ceramics turned from soapstone, talc, and alabaster to make container forms. These forms are functional as well as decorative. They can be eaten from and displayed as works of art. They are as tactile as good pottery, but have the special qualities that only stone can impart.

Evidence of other productivity: A long and lovely marriage (40 years) to Sharon Richardson which produced Heather Louise Lacey and Adam John Richardson (sculptures of the kinesthetic type).