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Dennis Parks

Biography to Display: 


1936 Born Berea, Kentucky

 2021 Died Reno, Nevada


1955-1956 Rutgers University, Brunswick, New Jersey

1957 Diploma Philosophy, Albert Schweitzer College, Chur Walden, Switzerland

1959 BA English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1960 Writer’s Workshop, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

1965 MFA Ceramics, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California


1965-1967 Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois

1966 Founded Tuscarora School of Ceramics, Tuscarora, Nevada

1966—Tuscarora School of Ceramics, Tuscarora, Nevada

1968-1972 Pitzer College, Claremont, California


Dennis Parks is known for functional pieces and sculpture using various clays and firing techniques.

Parks is well known for his teaching including starting ceramics and sculpture departments at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois and Pitzer College, Claremont, California, he also founded Tuscarora School of Ceramics in Tuscarora, Nevada He has conducted workshops and lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic.

He also made a number of innovations in the ceramic process including single firing and the use of an oil-fueled kiln. He  began using earthenware in an electric kiln from 1959 to 1963. Then from 1965-1967, he moved to salt-glazed stoneware in a gas-fueled kiln. From 1968-1975 his work was single fired in an oil-fueled kiln.

Dennis Parks studied with Paul Soldner and John Mason at Claremont Graduate School. 

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Moukhina Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Musee Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland

Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada

Scripps College, Claremont, California

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England


Bibliography to Display: 

Brodie, Regis. The Energy Efficient Potter. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill, 1982.

Hopper, Robin. The Ceramic Spectrum. Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Co., 1983.

Lewenstein, Eileen and Emanuel Cooper. Ceramic Review Book of Clay Bodies and Glaze Recipes. London, England: Ceramic Review Publishing, 1983.

Mansfield, Janet. Pottery. Sydney, Australia: Fontana/Collins, * 1983.

Nigrosh, Leon. Clay Work. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, 1975.

Speight, Charlotte. Hands in Clay, second edition. Mayfield Publications, Inc., 1989.

Parks, Dennis. A Potter’s Guide to Raw Glazing and Firing. New York, NY: Scribner’s, 1980.

__________. Living in the Country Growing Weird. *The University of Nevada Press, 2001.

__________. “Collecting Ceramics: the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah.”  American Craft (December 1991/January 1992).

__________. “Single Fire Ceramics.” Ceramic Review (September/October 1983).

__________.“Firing With Waste Drain Oil.” NCECA Journal 2, no. 1 (1981).



Typical Marks
Anne in the Apple Tree
Date: 1971
Materials: White Stoneware
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified April 6, 2023.