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Ruenell Foy Temps

Biography to Display: 

1940 Born San Francisco, California

2020 Died Bradenton, Florida


1958 – 1960 Art Major, University of California, Davis, California

1965 AA College of Marin, Kentfield, California

1970 BFA Painting and Drawing, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California

1971 MFA Ceramics, University of California, Berkeley, California


1975 Artist in Residence, Anderson Ranch, Aspen, Colorado


1964 – 2016 Studio Artist

1972 – 1976 Instructor, College of Marin, Kentfield, California

1973 – 1998 Lecturer, University of California, California State College


Ruenell Foy Temps is best known for hand-built, press and drape molded stoneware sculptural vessel forms, salt-fired in a gas kiln. Many of Temps’ sculptures employ architecturally referenced forms and, although they may have elaborately styled handles, there is an allover control and ordered surface. Work scale varied from tabletop functional pottery to monumental sculptures. Her functional stoneware pottery at times employing references to everyday objects such as bolts.

Temps was part of the 1950s California art scene. She was introduced to clay by Edwin Cadogan an instructor at College of Marin. At the University of California, Davis, Temps studied with Wayne Thiebaud and Ronald Peterson. Later at the University of California, Berkeley, Temps studied under Peter Voulkos. At the San Francisco Art Institute Temps studied with Tom Holland and Sam Tchkalian.

Although known for her ceramics, Temps was also a studio artist focused on painting.  In the article “The signing of Pottery”, Ceramics Monthly (1976), Temps states that signing her work is a matter of pride and responsibility toward her art.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Indiana

Center for Ceramic Research at the University of Arizona, Tempe, Arizona

Civic Arts Collection, San Francisco, California

City of Walnut Creek, California

College of Holy Names, Oakland, California

California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo, California

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse , New York

International Museum of Dinnerware Design, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Louisiana State University Art Museum, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana

Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana

Rosenfield Collection


Bibliography to Display: 

Burnstein, Joanne. “Ruenell Foy Temps,” Ceramics Monthly 31, no. 1 (January 1983): 33 – 35

Murphy, Rose. “The Signing of Pottery,” Ceramics Monthly 24, no. 4 (April 1976): 42 - 43 Burnstein, Joanne. Last accessed 01/6/2023.





AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art


Typical Marks

“Temps” in underglaze or iron oxide, used for functional work.

Ruenell Foy Temps carved into clay,  used for large sculptural work.

Many larger pieces were not marked.

Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Covered Jar
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Materials: Stoneware
Dimensions: 4.8 X 4.5 X 3 inches in diameter
Surface Technique: Salt Glaze
Photo: Clifford Temps
Materials: Stoneware
Dimensions: 3.3 X 13.5 X 11 inches in diameter
Photo: Clifford Temps

Citation: Lange, Hanna. "The Marks Project." Last modified March 3, 2023.