Justin Rothshank BiographyJustin Rothshank has been working as a studio ceramic artist in Goshen, Indiana since 2009. In 2001 he co-founded the Union Project, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, PA.
Justin’s ceramic work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally, including articles in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, The Log Book, and Neue Keramik. He has been a presenter, panelist, visiting artist, and artist-in-residence at numerous universities, schools, conferences, and art centers throughout the United States and abroad. His functional and decorative ceramic ware is available for purchase in more than two dozen galleries and gift shops around the country.
Justin was presented with an Award of Excellence by the American Craft Council in February 2009. In 2007 he was recognized by Ceramics Monthly Magazine as an Emerging Artist. He has also been awarded an Alcoa Foundation Leadership Grant for Arts Managers, a 2007 Work of Art Award from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the 2005 Decade of Servant Leadership Award from Goshen College, and was named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2005.
Justin Rothshank DescriptionRothshank Artwork
I believe that artwork and creativity are a catalyst for social change and economic improvement as well as enhancing everyday lives with beauty. Art gives a voice to the voiceless, enables self understanding, and provides a window into other cultures. These are among the reasons I have chosen to pursue lives as working artists.
I commit to:
• respect and cherish our environment
• seek and promote non-violent means of reconciliation
• tithe regularly
• participate in a faith community
• educate ourselves and those around us
Justin Rothshank ResuméDecal Process
My pots are intended for use. Each piece is handmade. The majority of my pottery is thrown on the potter’s wheel. I use an electric potter’s wheel that is set upon a stand that I built so that I can throw standing up. I have found that throwing while standing has been more relaxing and healthy for me. The handles on my mugs and pitchers are pulled by hand.
After each piece is created it is fired, unglazed, for a first firing to cone 04. Each piece is then dipped in liquid glaze and fired to approximately cone 06. After the glaze firing each piece is decorated using custom-made ceramic decals that I design and print on a Hewlett Packard laser printer. The decals are printed onto special decal paper using a normal black ink cartridge. Once the decals are printed they are cut, assembled, and transferred to the glazed ceramic ware using a water-slide technique. After the decals dry the ceramic pieces are then refired (this being the 3 rd firing) to approximately cone 09.
After the first decal firing I consider some pieces to be finished (such as my series of Presidential Pottery and contemporary Icons). Other pieces require additional decorating processes. These pieces (the pots that have colorful imagery) have additional custom, commercial, or vintage ceramic decals applied. I find these decals from a multitude of sources. Some of them I design myself and have printed by custom print shops, some I purchase from commercial manufacturers, others I acquire thru eBay or from friends. These decals are also cut apart, re-assembled, and applied using a water-slide technique. I find decals wherever I can. I have sourced decals from China, Australia, Denmark, South Africa, Great Britain, and the United States. During this stage I might also hand paint some pieces with Gold, Silver, or Platinum luster or China paints.
Once the colorful decals and lusters are applied each piece is then refired (this being the 4 th firing) to approximately cone 015. At this point I consider many pieces to be finished. However, at times, I will add more decals and refire a 5 th , 6 th , or 7 th time. I might even reglaze a piece and start the decorating process over completely. I have used these multifired pieces as a way to get substantial depth to the patterns and decorations of certain pieces.
All of my pottery is meant to be used. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. The EXCEPTION to this are the pieces that contain hand painted metallic lusters or luster decals. These pieces are still entirely safe to use, and can even be put into the dishwasher. However, they cannot be put into a microwave.
It is my hope that each piece of pottery I produce will bring you complete satisfaction. If it does not, please return it to me and exchange it for a piece that you will be happy with.