James A. Thornsbury

About the Artist

James Thornsbury is an American-Canadian  ceramicPottery or hollow clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln or oven to make them harder and stronger. Types include earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, and terra cotta. (Artlex.com)  artist known both for his use of  clayMud; moist, sticky dirt. In ceramics, clay is the basic material, usually referring to any of a certain variety of mixtures of such ingredients — fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet, brittle when dry, and very hard when heated. There is a temperature with ceramic clays at which their particles fuse (vitrification), and this is most commonly controlled by heating (firing) them in a kiln. The most common types of ceramic clays are earthenware (terra cotta when fired, terra cruda when not), stonewares, and porcelain. (Artlex.com)  as an artistic material and for the influence he had on ceramic practice in Saskatchewan

Thornsbury was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1941, and studied education and art at the Universities of Western Washington and Central Washington, respectively. He began his teaching career by instructing in junior and high schools in Washington before moving to Canada in 1970.

Thornsbury soon began teaching at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was in this position that he helped to shape Saskatchewan ceramic practice, through what would later become known as Regina Clay, and taught fellow Saskatchewan  ceramicistA person who makes ceramics. (Artlex.com)  Margaret Keelan.

Thornsbury has been exhibiting since 1966, and his work is found in several important collections including the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Collection of the Nickle Arts Museum (at the University of Calgary in Alberta) and the National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan). He is also a member of the Potters Guild of British Columbia.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning