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Jim Romberg has been working with Raku ceramics for over forty years.  An M.F.A. graduate in ceramics from Claremont Graduate University and early student of Paul Soldner, Jim is well known to collectors and academics for his outstanding and progressive work in sculptural ceramics.  


Experimenting with many ceramic processes at the beginning of his career in art, Romberg chose Raku because of its significant history, begun in 15th century Japan, its well developed and documented aesthetics, and its contemporary use as a means for artistic expression.  He has, in fact, added many dimensions to this continuing art form. Recently an expansion of scale has resulted in monumental pieces that present an even more dramatic arena for the spirit of Raku. 


Presenting work that is an interplay of sculpture and painting, Romberg uses the particular characteristics of Raku in a unique way. Rather than leaving the effects to the whims of natural reduction, his process is a deliberate interruption, often described as "painting with smoke and fire" to add a dimension of color, depth and surface that is truly engaging on many levels.  The practice and discipline of forming clay, applying surface treatments that reflect and unusual and complex virtuosity of brushwork, and individually firing and "smoke treating" each object results in pieces that capture the beauty of nature’s interaction with the intention of the artist. 


Events of landscape and sky remain a constant inspiration for the artist, along with the human history of creation starting with the pre-historic cave paintings in France which Romberg has personally visited and studied.  His study and appreciation of the origins of Raku ceramics centered around the development of the Tea Ceremony and tea vessels brings a particular contemporary interpretation of Eastern aesthetics and philosophy into his work.   The result is a particularly vital expression of an ancient art form "brought up-to-date" inviting contemplation that speaks to us today of the excitement  of the creative imagination .


Jim’s retirement after 18 years as Professor Emeritus of Art, Southern Oregon University which led to his Artistic Directorship of the Eagleheart Center for Arts and Inquiry.  


Equaly influential in the world of ceramics Romberg’s philosophy on criticism and search for significance in art influences many of today’s art leaders, particularly those attending events he coordinated as Director of Ceramics at Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities. 


His work is featured in numerous permanent collections, some of whom are Janss Sun Valley, Northern Arizona Museum of Art, Geneva Municipal Art Collection, The Banff Art Center, and the Marer Collection of Contemporary Ceramics at Scripps College.  Romberg’s work has appeared in numerous publications and has been described as an important influence in the development of Raku ceramics. The independent publication “Ceramics Today: James Romberg” was published by the International Academy of Ceramics, Switzerland. Galerie Mediart in Paris presented Romberg’s solo exhibition “Invocation” featuring his sculptural Raku works and abstract ink paintings. 

When Jim's hands aren't in clay, you'll find him with his hands wrapped around a fly rod or on the tiller of his 40' Kettenburg. He shares his life with his wife, Lynette Jennings.


Jim Romberg

Studio Artist

P.O. Box 1219, Port Townsend, Washington, 98368

Cell 970-250-3775






Master of Fine Arts, Claremont Graduate School 1972

Studio Assistant, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA 1968-70

Bachelor of Arts, Ancient Medieval History, Pomona College 1965

Study in Philosophy and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, 1965-67

Cours pour l’Etranger, University of the Sorbonne, Paris, France 1962

Academic Positions 


1986 – 2006   Professor Emeritus of Art, Southern Oregon University, Ashland OR

1974 – 1986   Artist in Residence, Instructor in Ceramics, Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, Sun Valley ID

1981               Visiting Professor in Ceramics, University of Texas at San Antonio, TX

1973 – 1974   Director of Ceramics, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass, CO

1972 – 1973   Instructor Ceramics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX


Member International Academy of Ceramics

Special Projects 


Director/Author: International Raku Symposium “Raku: Origins, Impact and Contemporary Expression”,

Eagleheart Center for Art and Inquiry


US Representative, Panel and Workshop, “Raku Sans Frontier: Terre et Terre” International Raku Symposium, Giroussens, France 2012


Curator: International Raku Symposium “Raku: Origins, Impact and Contemporary Expression" Touring Exhibition

of 10 International Raku Masters


Project Director, CRITICAL SANTA FE, 3-day symposium on Criticism in the Arts, Santa Fe, NM


Creator and Director of National Conference on Criticism and Clay: “Past Models, Future Shapes”, Sun Valley, ID


Panel Moderator: “Towards a New Criticism”, NCECA March 2006, San Antonio, TX


Director, NEA Sponsored Workshop, Exhibition and Catalogue “The Studio Potter: A Question of Quality” Featured Artists John Glick, Tom Coleman, and Jenny Lind, Sun Valley ID



Selected Exhibitions 


Arizona State University Ceramic Research Center, Phoenix AZ

Gallerie Marianne Brand, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland

Hanson Howard Gallery, Ashland, Oregon

NCECA Raku Invitational, Kansas City, MO

Scripps Annual, Claremont, CA

Raku Ho’laule’a Exhibition, Honolulu, Hawaii

Wiarda Beppu Gallery, Portland, OR

Port Townsend School of the Arts Gallery, Port Townsend, WA 

Pottery Northwest 50 Anniversary Invitational, Seattle, WA

MediArt, Paris, France 



Selected Galleries


Gail Severn Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

Sublette Modern, Tucson, AZGallery A, Salt Lake City, UT

Goldenstein Gallery, Sedona, AZ

Grapevine Gallery, Oklahoma City, OK



Selected Collections


Marer Collection, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

Boise Museum of Art, ID

Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

City of Geneva, Switzerland

Sevres Museum, Paris, France

Northern Arizona University Museum, Flagstaff, AZ

Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR

Scripps College, Claremont, CA



Selected Books and Publications


Raku Ceramics with Jim Romberg, DVD Video, Crystal Productions


Raku Ceramics, by Steven Branfam, Featured Artist, Published by Lark Books, ISBN 978-1-60059-295-9


Raku: Origins, Impact and Contemporary Expression, by Jim Romberg and Lynette Jennings,

Catalogue ISBN 59975-133X  


Ceramics Today: James M. Romberg, Published by the International Academy of Ceramics, Editions Olizane, Geneva, Switzerland ISSN 0254-4636


Potters and Prints Catalogue, Sun Valley Center 1985, by Kristin Poole , Featured Artist 


500 Raku, Curated by James Romberg, Published by Lark Ceramics, ISBN 978-1-6-0059-294-2



Selected Workshops


Banff Centre, Banff, Canada

Boulder Mountain Clay Works, Ketchum, ID

Les Printemps des Potiers, Bandol, France

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Laloba Clay Center, Steamboat Springs, CO

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA

Ecole des Beaux Arts, Aix-en-Provence, France

Sedona Art Center, Sedona, AZ

Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC

Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass, CO

Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO