James C. Watkins Named Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Texas Master

GlasstirePosted November 22, 2019 in In The News

By Christopher Blay

Ceramicist James C. Watkins is the newest recipient of Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s (HCCC) Texas Master Award. The Lubbock artist, cited in recognition of his ceramic career and outstanding service to the community, also receives a solo exhibition at HCCC next fall.

Watkins honor puts him in the company of previous Texas Masters who have received the award over the HCCC’s program’s 11-year history. Winners have included curator Clint Willour (Houston), and artists Harlan Butt (Denton), Cindy Hickok (Houston), Rachelle Thiewes (El Paso), Piero Fenci (Nacogdoches), and Sandie Zilker (Houston) — all recognized for making a significant impact on the field of craft.

Watkins received his MFA from Indiana University and BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and the former educator (a Texas Tech Professor Emeritus, following his retirement) has been featured in 40 solo exhibitions and 164 group exhibitions around the world. The White House Collection of American Crafts at the Clinton Library (Little Rock, AR), the Shigaraki Institute of Ceramic Studies (Shigaraki, Japan), the Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY), the Tweed Museum (Duluth, MI), and the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN) are among the more than 21 institutions that hold Watkins’ works in their permanent collections.

For more on HCCC, read Christina Rees’ Glasstire feature here.

Visit HCCC’s website for more on the organization and Watkins.


From Watkins’ bio: “With over 40 years of experience working with clay, Watkins masterfully constructs double-walled vessels, whose forms and surfaces are inspired by his memories of growing up in the South, encounters with nature, and his experience working in Asia. Building upon a history of tradition, he skillfully manipulates his clay surfaces using alternative firing techniques, creating lustrous and colorful surfaces enhanced by the atmosphere of the kiln.”