Artistic Journey

Chris Richard combines his many creative talents to produce inspiring and unique works

Written by Joe Willey | Photography by Jill Jasuta

Few art mediums are as elemental as clay, wood and pigment. Some artists transform these basic materials, intentionally hiding the intrinsic nature and the rawness from the observer. But Chris Richard creates works of art that never obscure the substance of the medium. Instead, he transforms those elemental things with a unique style and vision.

Now living on the bank of the Choptank River in Denton, MD, Chris grew up in New Jersey. His mother was a gifted artist — a sculptor who created realistic work in plasticine and later bronze. But it was a high school ceramics teacher and her husband, also a ceramics teacher, who patiently inspired Chris to explore the craft and develop an important early aesthetic.

After earning his master’s degree from Edinboro University in PA, he first considered teaching. But when a solo exhibition at a prestigious gallery unexpectedly sold out, Chris became a full-time studio artist, focusing on creating work for collectors.

For over a decade, he continued exhibiting in galleries. At times, it was hard, and Chris is honest about the struggles of making art for a living. When sales lagged, he pursued and succeeded in other careers, eventually taking a break from full-time studio work.

A career away from his studio linked him with coworkers, who created beautiful work and continued to keep their true callings alive and thriving. Their dedication inspired him to spend time in his studio despite the new limitations. He worked nights and weekends — stubbornly grasping the free time. He experimented without the pressure of making pieces that must sell. He has continued working in multiple creative disciplines and still constructs, in collaboration with other craftsmen, custom stair and rail installations.

His wheel-thrown ceramics are sculptures based on recognizable forms. “The vessels are the subject matter. It isn’t about what they hold or do,” he explains. Now, he concentrates on wall pieces. These works incorporate various materials and highlight the interplay of textures and the combination of abstract and figurative art forms.

Chris Richard creates works of art that never obscure the substance of the medium.

Chris’ work has never been about concealing his materials. Instead, he reveals them while asking the viewer to consider art from a different perspective and beauty for its own sake. An art career is an odyssey full of struggles that leave marks in a life like he makes in the clay. The marks trace his journey to his current creative joys. And, when you look closely, he takes you on a journey, too. CS

To view more of Chris’s work, visit his site at


  1. We own two pieces of Chris’s fabulous wall art, including the “The Path” pictured twice above. (First two photos). They bring us joy everyday.

  2. Chris,
    Seeing your creations gives me goosebumps. Your work is inspiring, unique & speaks for itself.

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