James Butler Ceramics

James teaches art at Riverton High, and lives with his family near the school in a beautiful spot on the banks of the Gilbert River. Before his years of teaching he worked as a potter, and delights in the skills he developed then. Also a bee-keeper and ukelele player, he turns his skills in life-affirming directions, with a lot of love, hard work, and contemplation. The pots are both wheel turned and hand built, with sculptural details derived from human forms that decorate the medieval cathedrals of northern Europe.

His variously shaped vessels – vases, cups, and bowls supported by human figures – celebrate a fair go for all forms of life. The surfaces are sgraffito-ed with James’ decorative interpretation of the history of life on earth, from amoebas though dinosaurs to elephants, mice and man. The works are involved in their own process of evolution. It will be interesting to see what the future brings for this exciting artist/potter.


The Busy Bee

Ceramicist, artist, teacher, gardener, husband, father, sailor and amateur apiarist James Butler talks of his journey from fear to affection of these fascinating little insects and the joys of self sufficiency. Filmed over 3 trips to Riverton in country South Australia.
Directed, filmed and edited by Randy Larcombe