June 18, 2009
On June 18, 1979, Richard Bresnahan, SJU ‘76, returned to Saint John’s, at the invitation of Fr. Michael Blecker, OSB, then president, to set up a pottery studio. This was shortly after returning from his apprenticeship with Nakazato Takashi, the son of a Japanese "Living National Treasure," on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Bresnahan was challenged with the enormous task of finding clay and setting up the pottery studio at Saint John's.
Flash forward to June 18, 2009, some 30 years later. Gerry Williams, editor of Studio Potter, was quoted about Bresnahan as a "…mythic personality…a leader who stands out above the rest…identified by an unique vision, singular knowledge, stylistic influence. His 87-foot-long, wood burning kiln is the largest in America and its 37-foot-long, backpressure tunnel is widely acknowledged as the first of its design. Potters from near and far participate in his firings, which also become community events. As both an artist and an ambassador for the natural environment, he takes his place as one of the preeminent potters in contemporary American ceramics."
The Chronicle of Higher Education article "Earth, Wind, and Fire" (2/13/09)