Ceramic works by Neil Owen Moss (1941-2010) grace the tables and walls of literally thousands of discerning people. These strong and earthy forms emerge from a tradition of pottery making where clay is not simply a medium but a way of life. Influenced by Japanese Mingei (folk) ceramics, and ceramist giants, Shoji Hamada and Laura Andreson, Moss's work reflects a depth and rigor that is gained only through many years of continuous work with his own imagery, forms and glazes. His ash-glazed baskets with swooping handles, subtly decorated platters, vases with bamboo joints, rusty garden pots, tea bowls and abstract sculptural forms are simultaneously poetic, elegant and elemental.
Moss not only practiced the art of making ceramics and the business of selling his art, but also taught at El Camino College, full-time, influencing generations of students. When a colleague asked when he would retire, Moss responded, �Why should I retire? I love what I do.� And clearly this was so.
His skill and prodigious energy for artwork and for teaching his craft inspired and influenced colleagues and students alike. Seventeen have been selected from the much larger group of those whose lives and art have been touched. Heather Anacker, Doug Blechner, Joe Fernandez, Hal Frenzel, Alfred Iwamasa, Ashley Kim, Russ McMillin, Tom McMillin, Edward Muela, Juan Carlos Ornelas, Jess Parker, David Parsons, Evan Sisson, Keiko Tamura, Allen Teng, Geoffrey Tjakra and Robert Wetherington, now all professional ceramists in their own right, represent the richness and variety abundant in the clay community that has been so profoundly touched by Moss's influence. He will be long remembered and greatly missed.
Plate and cup