Status message

Your information has been submitted.

  Printer Friendly Version

J.B. Blunk, James Blain Blunk

Biography to Display: 

1926 Born Ottawa, Kansas

2002Died Iverness, California

EDUCATION

1949BA University of California (UCLA), Los Angeles, California

APPRENTICESHIPS AND RESIDENCIES

1950Apprenticeship with F. Carlton Ball

1952Apprenticeship with Rosanjin Kitaoji, Japan

1953-1954Apprenticeship with Toyo Kaneshige, Bizen, Japan

1954-1944Artist-in-Residence, Palos Verdes College

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1954—Studio Potter, California

1957-1962Studio Potter, Iverness, California

 

J.B. Blunk is known for utilitarian wares and sculptures made from local and commercial clays and using commercial slips and glazes fired in a cone 6 electric kiln. In Japan, Blunk worked in the Bizen tradition using stoneware clays and a wood-fired kilns.

J.B. Blunk studied at UCLA with Laura Andreson and, after two-years of Army service in the Korean War, was discharged to Japan. There, he sought out the masters who Andreson had introduced in her classes. In Japan, he befriended Isamu Noguchi, who introduced him to Rosanjin Kitaoji. After an apprenticeship with Kitaoji, he went to Bizen to study with Toyo Kaneshige. Blunk made traditional Bizen-style wares during this period.

In 1957, Blunk built a home in Northern California. By 1962, he worked primarily as a wood sculptor.

An Oral History interview with J.B. Blunk conducted May 16, 2002, by Glenn Adamson for the Archives of American Art’s Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America is available at: https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-jb-blunk-13312.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Experiment in International Living, Brattleboro, Vermont

Greens Restaurant, San Francisco, California

Grubb and Ellis, Oakland, California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California

Leonard Park, Mount Kisco, New York

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Oakland Museum of California Art, Oakland, California

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, California

Tassajara Mountain Zen Center, Carmel Valley, California

University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California

Weyerhaeuser Company, Tacoma, Washington

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

“Out of the Woods.” Wallpaper, January 2012.

J.B. Blunk: 100 Plates: Sculpture. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Gardiner Art Gallery, 1984.

Adams, Carin. “Curator’s Eye: J.B. Blunk’s The Planet.” Modern Magazine, Winter 2018.

Adamson, Glenn, and Gerard O'Brien. J.B. Blunk. Los Angeles: Blum & Poe, 2010.

Blunk, J B. J.B. Blunk Sculptures 1952-1977: Exhibition January 10 - February 25, 1978. Los Angeles: Craft and Folk Art Museum, 1978.

Doran, Cat. “Point Blunk.” C-Home, May 2009.

Emery, Olivia H. Craftsman Lifestyle: The Gentle Revolution. Pasadena: California Design Publications, 1977.

Falino, Jeannine, and Glenn Adamson. Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design [exhibition Crafting Modernism. Midcentury American Art and Design, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, October 11, 2011 - January 15, 2012; Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, February 27 - May 21, 2012]. New York: Abrams, 2011.

Feher, Erin. “A Brief History of the Planet.” San Francisco Magazine, April 2018, pp. 68-70.

Iovine, Julie V., and Todd Merrill. Modern Americana: Studio Furniture from High Craft to High Glam. New York: Rizzoli, 2008.

Jansen, Charlotte. “A ‘blind date’ between two California artists reveals surprising shared sensibilities.” Wallpaper, February 2018.

Kahn, Eve. “Blunk House: Inside a Master’s Sculptural Homestead, Hewn by Hand, in Northern California.” Remodelista, December 2017.

Knezic, Sophie. “J.B. Blunk, Blum and Poe, Tokyo, Japan.” Frieze, January 2017.

Fortini, Amanda. “A Little House in the Big Woods.” The New York Times Style Magazine, November 16, 2017.

McKean, Cameron Allan. “J.B. Blunk, Blum and Poe, Tokyo.” Art Agenda, January 2017.

Nielson, Åbäke and Mariah. J.B. Blunk: Cups, Plates, Bowls and Sculptures: Ceramics 1950-1999. London: Dent-De-Leon, 2017.

Nordness, Lee. Objects – USA. New York: Viking, 1972.

Rawsthorn, Alice. Blunk House. Maharam, October 2016.

Richardson, Phyllis, and Santos S. Dos. Contemporary Natural. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.

Rus, Mayer. “Palm Springs Art Museum Spotlights Alma Allen and J.B. Blunk.” Architectural Digest, February 2018.

Williamson, Leslie. Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-Century Designers. New York, NY: Rizzoli, 2010.

Wright, Reed. “At the Oakland Museum of California, and unsung designer/artist finally gets the limelight.” Spaces, Winter/ Spring 2018.

Wu, Su. “A New Place to Celebrate Cool California Design.” The New York Times Style Magazine. November 12, 2015.

Wu, Su. “In Conversation – Alma Allen and J.B. Blunk.” La Garçonne, February 2018.

 

CV or Resume: Click Here to Download
Source: The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Website(s):

http://www.jbblunk.com/ABOUT

 

Typical Marks

1954-1955 Signed with a cursive B

1969-1970 signed with a cursive B, open on the bottom

1970 did not mark work

1954-1955
1954-1955
1969-1970
Bizen Ware
Date: 1954
Form: Vessel
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
Sculpture
Date: 1960s
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Slab Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Bowl
Date: 1960s
Form: Bowl
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Slab Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Footed vessel
Date: 1960s
Form: Bowl
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Muse
Date: 1972
Form: Sculpture
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
Plate
Date: 1975
Form: Plate
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Citation: Baldenebro, Allizandra. "The Marks Project." Last modified July 3, 2018. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/blunk