Ben Roti is a ceramic artist originally from Spirit Lake, IA. He attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, from 2006 to 2010 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. During college, Ben’s ceramic work concentrated on the elements of world conflict culminating in his BFA show, “The Cost of War.” After finishing his BFA, Ben accepted a position as a studio assistant to ceramic artist, Don Reitz in Clarkdale, Arizona.
Over several years (2006-2010), Ben had the opportunity to work with Don Reitz in the studio, assist with workshops in Montana and Florida, and was instrumental in the installations of gallery shows in Chicago, Denver, and Kansas City. At the Reitz Ranch, Ben furthered his knowledge in atmospheric firing with wood and salt types as well a soda kiln in St. Petersburg, FL. He also was a part of constructing and repairing kilns.
Since leaving the Reitz Ranch, Ben has returned to creating functional works using low-fire earthenware clay and has begun to develop a new body of work. Using reductive techniques, through sandblasting, Ben is able to build variations and create layers, which are inspired by the results that are commonly seen in atmospheric firing.
Origin is the point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived. Looking for inspiration for my work, I spend time reflecting on my own origin, roots, and life experiences. Taking that into account, this sense of nostalgia or “coming home” is the focal point of my recent creative efforts. The objects I crafted have a pronounced texture covered by bright colors that are worn down to reveal the raw earthenware clay below. This fabrication process creates a butter-soft patina and timeworn appearance in each piece. My hope is that viewers will handle the work and can connect with their own pasts…their origins.
Ben currently resides in Cottonwood, Arizona, with his wife, Kami.
His Web site is: http://www.benroti.com/