(active late 20th Century–early 21st Century)
Randy O’Brien began working with clay while he was a student at the University of California at Berkeley. He moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1984 to study with ceramic artist and educator Al Johnsen. O’Brien’s love for the wilderness and adventure led him to move to Alaska in the late 1980s. He established a pottery studio in Homer, creating and selling functional, stoneware pottery with glazes inspired by the glacial fields and mountains of Kachemak Bay. He returned to art school in the mid 1990s earning a BFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. While a student at Alfred, he focused on the development of special effect, low fire glazes. Inspired by the mineral formations, mudflats and lichens of southern Arizona he developed a three dimensional glaze surface that mimics the aesthetic of a naturally occurring material.