jonathan nesci w/ robert pulley
In late May after I secured a storefront space in Columbus, Indiana and was refining the idea of w/, Robert Pulley reached out to me about a potential collaboration. The timing felt perfectly aligned. I’m thrilled that he reached out.
I’ve informally known Robert Pulley for nearly four years though most of our interactions have been at events. It was a couple of years ago that he invited me out for a studio visit where I was able to peer into his world. Over the past few months I have been able to take a deeper dive into who Bob is and what Bob does.
It’s has been really exciting to review Bob’s ideas for construction and watch a master of clay realize my forms and the objects I designed. Bob mixes his own clay, builds everything by hand and fires the work in his self-made kiln.
There are three construction methods in this show: work made on Bob’s potter’s wheel, works cut out of slabs of clay that are then assembled, and forms constructed in a coiled method where Bob pinches clay one 3-inch layer at a time. All the work is air-dried, bisque-fired, then finally glazed-fired in a black copper finish.
I’ve learned so much about his process and am grateful to Bob for opening up his beautiful life’s work w/ me.
Born in Wabash, Indiana, Robert received a bachelor’s degree in art education and soon after started a pottery studio with a friend. He returned to Ball State University in 1977, earning his masters degree in sculpture and ceramics. After graduation, Robert moved to Columbus, Indiana where he began teaching art in the public schools and making pottery, vessels, and sculpture. He retired from teaching in 2010 and has since devoted himself full-time to sculpture. Clay has been his primary medium for over 45 years.
Robert is known for his large scale (2 to 4’) organic, abstract sculptures of high fired clay, intended for the garden. In the past 20 years he has also created a body of large public-scale ceramic sculptures (5 to 12') which have been shown around the Midwest and South Eastern states.
His work has been published in various books and periodicals and is included in numerous private and public collections around the country including the McDonald’s Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Canton Art Institute, Indiana State Museum, Wright State University Museum of Art, Competitive Advantage Consultants and High Point University Sculpture Park.