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Robert Carlson

Biography to Display: 

Born 1951 Chicago, Illinois

Died 2008 Hannibal, Missouri



Tarkio College, Tarkio, Missouri






Robert Carlson is known for wheel-thrown vessels finished with experimental surface techniques, such as gold leaf, matte copper, and post-firing application of enamel paints or Prismacolor®.  Some work is pit fired. 

Carlson started working in his father’s graphic design business at a young age. In college he studied ceramics with Paul Soldner, Fred Olson, Don Reitz, Bill Farrell, Rick Berman, Jerry Chappelle[1].

Carlson is considered to be an early figure in the American Fine Craft movement. He served as president of the Highland Rim chapter of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists.  In 1999 Carlson was Tennessee Art Commission Artist of the Year.

[1]. “Obituary: Robert Edward Carlson,” Tribute Archive: James O’Donnell Funeral Home, Mar. 28, 2008,





Public Collections


Bibliography to Display: 

 Fairbanks, Jonathan and Angela Fina. Best of Pottery. Boston, MA: Rockport Publishers, 1996.

Gamble, Harriet. “Finding Your Own Voice: An Interview with Marilee Hall.” Arts and Activities, Vol. 119, March 1996.

Lang, Arnauld. “New & Retrospect: Robert Carlson.” Ceramics Monthly. April 1990, p.68.   




Center for CraftCenter For Craft



AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art


Typical Marks

 Inscribed “Carlson” in cursive, with a year attached.

Date: 1983
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze, Raku
American Museum of Ceramic Art, gift of The American Ceramic Society, 2004.2.361
Photo: TMP
American Museum of Ceramic Art, gift of The American Ceramic Society, 2004.2.361
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze, Raku
Courtesy Treadway-Toomey Auctions
Courtesy Treadway-Toomey Auctions

Citation: Beul, Jasmine. "The Marks Project." Last modified September 26, 2023.