Warren MacKenzie: A Potter's Hands

About Warren MacKenzie

Warren MacKenzie is widely regarded as the most important contemporary American potter... a result of MacKenzie’s special status as the main representative in the United States of the Anglo-Asian tradition of functional ceramics associated with Bernard Leach in England and Shōji Hamada in Japan, towering figures in twentieth-century pottery.

Born in 1924 in Evanston, IL, Warren MacKenzie is considered an American ceramic master. After serving in the army in World War II, MacKenzie returned to Chicago and trained in ceramics.

While still an art student, MacKenzie discovered Leach’s A Potter’s Book, a polemic and practical guide that upheld the value of the potter-craftsman in the face of modern industry.  After going to England and spending two years working at the Leach Pottery, MacKenzie returned to the United States where he set up his own pottery and began a teaching career that influenced countless individuals. MacKenzie continues to inspire potters in Minnesota and beyond by his unwavering commitment to making affordable pottery for domestic use.

In 1954 he joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota, teaching ceramics until 1990, when he retired and became a Professor Emeritus. MacKenzie lives outside of Stillwater, MN, where he continues to maintain his studio.

(excerpt from "Warren MacKenzie" by Robert Silberman in
Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands 2014 Exhibition Catalog)

Warren trims several ceramic pots
Warren laughs during the interview.
Logo for the Minnesota State Arts Board
Logo linking to grant resource from the Clean Water & Land Legacy Amendment

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Warren MacKenzie: A Potter's Hands
Mark Lambert, director/producer
Ramsey, Minnesota