James C Watkins
Born in 1951 in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in a farming family in Athens, Alabama, James C. Watkins is a ceramic artist who has worked with clay for over 40 years. His work is held in 21 permanent collections, including the White House Collection of American Crafts at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Shigaraki Institute of Ceramic Studies in Shigaraki, Japan, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Watkins’ work has been widely exhibited in 40 solo exhibitions and 164 group exhibitions.
Watkins is a Texas Tech University, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor Emeritus. The Horn Professorship is the highest honor Texas Tech University may bestow on members of its faculty. Horn Professorships are granted to professors in recognition of national and international distinction for outstanding research or other creative scholarly achievements. Watkins taught Architectural Delineation for 35 years and Architectural Ceramics for 12 years between 1983 and 2018 in the Texas Tech University College of Architecture. Before teaching at Texas Tech University, Watkins was an associate instructor at Indiana University in Bloomington and a visiting professor at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Between 1978 and 1983, he was the director and organizer of the Mackenzie Terrace Pottery Center a City of Lubbock public arts facility.
Watkins served as assistant dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Architecture between 2003 and 2006 and Architectural Delineation coordinator from 1998 until 2003. His awards include the Texas Tech University President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the third recipient of the Art on the Llano Estacada Legacy Award, presented by Texas Tech University Museum Association. He was a 2005 Senior Fulbright Scholar, teaching in Vietnam at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture. Watkins is the 2019 recipient of the HCCC Texas Master Award present by the Houston Center of Contemporary Crafts in Houston, Texas.
Watkins is the author of the self-published book, Reflections Made of Memories. He is also the co-author of three books, Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques published by Sterling Publishing, Niedrigbrand published by Hanusch/Verlag Publications—the German translation of Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques, and Architectural Delineation: Presentation Techniques and Projects published by Kendall Hunt Publishing. His work is the subject of a book entitled A Meditation of Fire: The Art of James C. Watkins by Kippra D. Hopper published by Texas Tech University Press. Watkins has written numerous articles for national and international magazines, including Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, New Ceramics: The European Ceramics Magazine, and China Ceramic Artist. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from Indiana University.