Light Teapot, 2022, clay, wheel thrown and altered with slab components
Conner is a studio artist in Natchez, Mississippi. That was not always the case, once upon a time there was an active and curious child named Conner Burns.
His father made pottery; but young Conner showed little interest. The natural environment and exploring the woods was his focus. He enjoyed attending art festivals with his father. Art festivals, theatre and the Burns home filled with art were the variables that produced an understanding that ‘art is a part of life rather than simply entertainment’.
The child grew older (and wiser), completed his master’s degree and worked in the corporate world. Eventually he left and focused on his art. He helped start a teaching studio in Kansas City … returned to Natchez ... art festivals ... taught workshops ... opened his gallery ... founded Natchez Clay (a community clay studio) … and founded the Natchez Project (an artist fellowship). Conner was too busy ... so he refined his focus. Art festivals ended and Natchez Clay sold. His time was in the studio - new art - new techniques - new materials … and … a limited number of workshops and exhibitions at exceptional facilities.
Conner’s work continued to change ... functional vessels became more sculptural and purely sculptural items were added to the mix. That child that enjoyed the outdoors and art still enjoys both. He continues to makes time to explore the natural environment, experience the artwork of others and make his own art. His studio is his retreat ... his creative world.
The child has grown older, but still appreciates the rich subtleties and organic influences that dominate the natural environment. Conner’s intention is for his work to look as if it grew that way – rather than being ‘made’. Texture, both visual and tactile, are components that are used to encourage you to take a closer look - to reach out and touch.