Richard Bresnahan studied with the art historian S. Johanna Becker OSB at Saint John's University in Minnesota, and later with the national living treasure of ceramics Nakazato Takashi in Karatsu, Japan. Since 1979, Richard Bresnahan has directed The Saint John's Pottery as part of a unique collaboration with Saint John's University.
Bresnahan's role as Artist-in-Residence takes on several forms: he provides mentorship as part of an a formal apprenticeship program; instructs a one-of-a-kind course on environmental art and design; lectures and exhibits internationally on behalf of Saint John's; and operates the Johanna Kiln, the largest wood-fired kiln of its kind in North America.
As an artist and environmentalist, Bresnahan's passion revolves around creating handmade and highly functional pottery for the surrounding community. Bresnahan's work is featured in many collections, including the Idemitsu Museum in Tokyo, Japan; the Mary Burke collection in New York, New York; and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota.