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Chip Clawson

Biography to Display: 

1945 Born Butler, Pennsylvania


1963–1967 BS Secondary Education Earth & Space Science, Edinboro State College, Edinboro, Pennsylvania 

1971–1972 Special Student in Ceramics, Edinboro State College, Edinboro, Pennsylvania


2011 Visiting Artist, Laramie Community College, Cheyanne, Wyoming


1971-1974 Studio Potter, Edinboro, Pennsylvania

1975-1977 Ceramics Studio Technician, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1977-2004 Clay Business Manager, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana

2001 "Bray Odyssey Arch," Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana

2002 "Jaffe Garden Arch" Commission, Portland, Oregon

2003-2005 "All Women Are Role Models" public art project, Montana Women's Prison, Billings, Montana

2004-2005 Owner’s Representative, David, and Ann Shaner Resident Artist Center, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana

2005 "Women of the Montana Women Prison" The Bill McIntosh Gallery, Billings, Montana

2006“Southern Lights”, public art, low-income apartment complex, Billings, Montana

"All of the Above, None of the Above" public art, Helena, Montana

"Emergence" Ceramic sculpture, The Ester and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery, Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyoming

2009-2014 Facilities Manager, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana

2016—Owner’s Representative, Education Building, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana


Chip Clawson is known for architectural ceramics, sculpture, and pottery. He focuses on large-scale architectural works for which he relies on his home studio and yard to develop prototypes. Works are often mixed media: clay, concrete, and other material. He draws inspiration from the natural, man-made and site-specific worlds related to his creations. Large-scale projects may be benches or walls that are sculptural forms or sets of monumental arches with unique column structures. Clawson encourages audience’s engagement with each sculptural environments he creates.  Since retiring from Archie Bray, his own small yard has become a living installation of twisting poured concrete columns with random layers of small earthenware press molded sea shells like “fossils” forms.

In addition to his personal creations, Clawson is largely responsible for the development and sustainability of the Clay Business at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, located in Helena, Montana. A skilled ceramics technician, Clawson devoted 27 years to developing an advanced retail pottery supply business for the Foundation, designing and building machines at the Foundation to manufacture clay on-site, developing reliable clay bodies and managing both staff and inventory. Due in a large part to Clawson’s efforts, the Archie Bray Foundation Clay Business has developed into a leader in Pacific North West Ceramics Retail, while providing significant financial support to the Foundation. 

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

All of the Above, None of the Above, Pioneer Park, Helena, Montana

All Women Are Role Models Arch, Montana Women’s Prison, Billings, Montana

Bray Odyssey Arch, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana

Buddy Benches, Jefferson School, Helena, Montana

Fish Bench (Biggo), Great Northern Town Center, Helena, Montana

Southern Lights Public Facade, 801 S. 28th Street, Billings, Montana

Ziona (Ceramic Sculpture), Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, Pennsylvania


Bibliography to Display: 

Lincoln, Marga, “Driven to Build: Chip Clawson Launches Campaign to Create Inspiring Sculpture Garden.” Helena Independent Record, March 11, 2016.

Therriault, Ednor. Montana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Offbeat Fun. Helena, Montana: Globe Pequot Press, 2010.

Zellar, Bob, “Helena Artist’s Work Seeks to Lift Spirits of Inmates,” Helena Independent Record, July 23, 2005.



Typical Marks
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Ash Glaze
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Ode to Edward James
Artist's Collection
Photo: Chip Clawson
Artist's Collection
Photo: Chip Clawson
Photo: Chip Clawson

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified June 23, 2023.