My name is Benjamin June. I live in Portland Oregon where I make pottery, work in a restaurant, take care of plants and flowers, and go exploring.
I studied ceramic art at the University of Washington in Seattle for four years and received a BFA in Ceramics and a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art with a Minor in Art History in 2004. I was lucky enough to study with three amazing people and professors: Akio Takamori, Jamie Walker and Doug Jeck.
Soon after graduating, I found myself in Chicago working on a myriad of non ceramic art projects. I worked in small scale wire sculpture, I embroidered on fabric and paper; I was inspired by the architecture and the crumbling relics of a major industrial city. I participated in numerous groups shows and was chosen to be a featured artist for Chicago’s Artist Month in 2007.
That was happening while my work changed drastically. I became engrossed in what turned out to be a seven year, multi faceted art project: making work about the ongoing humanitarian conflict in Iraq and the massive loss of life being suffered by the Iraqi civilians. In an attempt to understand the immense tragedy that our country was causing in Iraq, I made embroideries, hand bound books, woodburnings and I embroidered and sewed a small pillow for every suicide attack in the country during the U.S. occupation. I made nearly 1,800 of these pillows which accounted for more than 20,000 lives lost. Please see www.benjaminjune.com for more information and images.
After seven years of making this very serious memorial work, and a move from Chicago to Portland, I decided to take a break and try my hands in clay again. Both because I needed to have some fun in the studio again and I hadn’t touched clay in 10 years and missed it. It took some time but I found a community studio with some great potters and artists: Radius Community Art Studios. I have been making work out of my studio there since late 2013.