By: Susan Schoch
The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), 2013
The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell celebrates the five-decade careers of Jim and Nan McKinnell, whose prolific output included tens of thousands of ceramic works. The McKinnells, known for their diverse vessel forms, often collaborated on pieces, with one shaping the work and the other adding decoration; but, when viewing their solo pieces, their individual preferences are unmistakable. Beyond their own predilections and artwork, their innovations in ceramic technology and their commitment to teaching have provided the field of ceramic art with a lasting legacy. To sum up their 50-year career, the work evidences substance, challenge, and exquisite sensitivity. Jim and Nan McKinnell are said to have lived largely. Their active role in changing the identity of American potters and American ceramics in the mid-twentieth century resulted in an important transformation of ceramic history. The story of the McKinnells and their work speaks of growth—artistic, personal, social—inspired by and creating itself of those most human partners, clay and grace. It's well worth telling.
About the Author
Susan Schoch is a freelance writer, editor, and artist, whose work is focused on preserving life stories. She has written and published biographies, memoirs, business histories, and children’s books. She also reviews books by, for, and about women at Story Circle Book Reviews, and edited the 2017 SCN essay collection Inside and Out. Since 2014 she has been the editor of the annual Real Women Write anthology series. She lives with her husband, ceramic artist Bob Smith, in the Colorado foothills.
To learn more about Susan Schoch and her work, please see www.facebook.com/susan.schoch