A Professor and a Professional: Working Artist Dale Huffman Makes It Real
Nationally and internationally renowned potter Dale Huffman is an inspiration—and a true hands-on mentor. His students delve right into the nuts and bolts: Building kilns. Assisting with firings. Preparing clay.
“My goal,” he says, “is for them to learn how to manage these things on their own.”
Chair of Carlow University’s Art Department
, Huffman has been a working artist for nearly 35 years. His works have been selected for numerous exhibitions worldwide and are currently on display at Shino Extravaganza in Houston, Texas and Tea Bowls: A Contemporary Approach in Fabius, New York. Untitled, Dale Huffman, in the collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Ponoma, California
“Being a professional artist models professional behavior for students,” says Huffman. “It shows them that I am a practicing professional as well as a professor, and helps keep me current as an artist, which is a big benefit to them.”
Huffman’s connections provide students with access to national and international artists—from Western Europe to Japan and Taiwan. In 2009 he brought 12 artists—from the United States and Europe—to Carlow for a workshop. In 2010 he took six advanced students to Denmark for several weeks—an experience he says he designed to give them an opportunity to network with other artists, hone their craft, and gain experience working abroad.Dale Huffman in the Carlow clay studio
Pursuing a career in art requires dedication, says Huffman. But anything is possible.
“I advise students that if they want to be practicing studio artists, they must be willing to give up a lot for their art,” he says. “If it is important enough for them, this can be very rewarding. It is for me.”