Steven Branfman (born 1953, L.A. California) grew up in N.Y.C. and credits a rich cultural childhood as being the influence that led him to an art career. He was further influenced by a dynamic high school sculpture teacher. Branfman studied studio art and art history at Cortland State University, NY with Gerald Diguisto (sculpture) George Dugan (drawing) and John Jessiman (pottery). He received his graduate degree at Rhode Island School Of Design working under Norm Schulman and Jun Kaneko. He says of RISD, The time spent at RISD was the most influential and important experience in my development as an artist. The teachers were dedicated, the students were serious, and the atmosphere was exciting and productive.

Branfman has been a studio potter since 1975. In 1977 he founded The Potters Shop & School which has become an internationally known studio, school, and artists workspace, and he enjoys an international reputation as a potter, teacher, and writer. He is the author of Mastering Raku: Making Ware-Glazes-Building Kilns-Firing published by Lark Books, Raku: A Practical Approach first and second editions, published by Krause Publications, and The Potters Professional Handbook published by The American Ceramic Society. Steven is a popular workshop presenter and his work has been exhibited in many one person and group shows throughout the U.S and abroad. Articles about, or by him, have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Crafts Report, Clay Times, Boston Globe, Studio Potter, Neue Keramik, and Pottery Making Illustrated, among others. His clayworking techniques, examples of his work, and personal profiles appear in many books on pottery and ceramics as well as Who’s Who In American Art and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Steven’s time is spent working in his studio, writing, traveling to present workshops and demonstrations, and Thayer Academy in Braintree Massachusetts where he teaches pottery. Steven, his wife Ellen and their dog Bruno live in Newton Massachusetts. 

My motivation is to make good pots, pots that hold up to thousands of years of ceramic history. My work is about vessels and the characteristics that make the vessel come alive: volume, texture, color, and scale. One of my objectives is, through my vessels, to preserve the connection between contemporary ceramic expression and pottery’s origins as functional containers, not to transform and abandon it. Though my forms are not functional as in domestic ware, they do suggest function and are certainly containers.” 

Selected workshop presentations and guest artist appearances include: Raku Ho’olaule’a, Honolulu; Clay Art Center, NY; Appalachian Center For Crafts, TN; El Olvido Ceramica, Mexico City; Burlington Art Center/Fusion, Toronto; Concordia College, MI; California Association of Clay Artists, CA; Triangle Potters Guild, NC; Guilford Handcrafts Center, CT; Munson Williams Proctor Institute, NY; El Camino College, CA; Alfred University, NY; Wesleyan Potters Guild, CT; Oak Ridge Art Center, TN; Walnut Creek Civic Arts Center, CA; Nottingham Center For The Arts CA; Silvermine Guild School Of Art CT; Raku Rhody-O, Providence RI; Oregon College Of Art And Craft; Kalkspatz: German Potters Association, Munich Germany; Lehmhuus AG, Basel Switzerland; Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat Belgium; Keramikos, Haarlem Netherlands; Vrije Ateliers, Sint Niklass Belgium; Keramik Kraft, Nurmberg Germany; Armbruster Porzellan, Nurtingen Germany; Beim Storchennest, Lutzmannsburg Austria. 

Selected exhibitions include: Esceula De Artesanias Mexico City; Gallery at Keramikos, Netherlands;; Fuller Craft Museum MA; Musee du Gress, France; Salon de H Art Company, South Korea: Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design; Society Of Arts And Crafts MA; Musee de la Ceramique, Belgium; Art Complex Museum MA; National Earthenware Museum, Torhouts Belgium; Currier Art Center NH; American Museum Of Ceramic Art CA; Qartz Gallery, Mechelen Belgium. Le Centre Ceramique Contemporaine La Borne; France, Yusay Gallery Nara City Japan; Salon de H Art Comapny Seoul South Korea. 

Collections include: Rhode Island School Of Design Museum Of Art, American Museum Of Ceramic Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Alfred University International Museum Of Ceramics, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Canadian Clay And Glass Association, Everson Museum, Crocker Museum, Mungyeong Ceramic Museum. 

Branfman is represented by 
Plinth Gallery, Denver CO;  L’Attitude Art, Boston MA; Crieger Group, Natick MA; Art Gallery Artani, Stuttgart