Saint John’s Pottery

Richard Bresnahan, Artist-in-Residence

For 40 years, The Saint John’s Pottery has embodied the Benedictine values of community, hospitality and self-sufficiency as well as the University’s commitment to the integration of art and life; the preservation of the environment; the linkage between work and worship; and the celebration of diverse cultures.

Artist-in-Residence Richard Bresnahan and The Saint John’s Pottery engage students, apprentices, and visiting artists in the work of artistic creation, discipline, and research and preparation of natural materials. These dynamic experiences are framed by questions of what it means to envision and create a sustainable lived system.

Visitors are welcome in the studio to visit the gallery, purchase ceramics, and experience guided tours. Studio tours explore the cycles of clay processing and glaze development as well as preparation and firing of the Johanna Kiln each fall. While the works produced in the studio are art in their own right, they also embody a vision for a more whole world.


National Gallery of Art Feature: Potter Richard Bresnahan Navigates an “Eco-Mutual” Future

Richard Bresnahan and the work of The Saint John’s Pottery are highlighted in a special feature by the National Gallery of Art. Story by SJU alum Paul Schmelzer, editor and writer, with photographs by Jenn Ackerman, Tim Gruber, and SJU alum Paul Wegner. 

Fall Firing of the Johanna Kiln: October 11-20th, 2024

The 17th firing of the Johanna Kiln will begin Friday, October 11th, 2024 with a public lighting ceremony and continue through Sunday, October 20th. While tours will be limited leading up to and during the loading and firing of the kiln, all are welcome to observe.

Kura: Prophetic Messenger Book (Available at the CSB/SJU Bookstores and The Saint John’s Pottery

Kura: Prophetic Messenger Book Continues to Earn Awards
The latest award came in June when it was named the winner in the highly competitive Arts, Photography and Coffee Table Books category at the 32nd annual Midwest Independent Book Awards.

Kura: Prophetic Messenger Racks up Another Major Book Award
The book, which chronicles the collaborative effort that brought the sculpture into being, was  named best Fine Arts book in the 16th annual National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA).

Kura: Prophetic Messenger Earns International Book Award
The book about the sculpture that became the first permanent installation in the Jon Hassler Sculpture Garden at SJU won the 2022 Nautilus Special Honors Book Award in the photography and art division.

Kura: Prophetic Messenger a 2022 Minnesota Book Award Finalist
Award nominees were celebrated at the 2022 Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on April 26 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul.