a major proponent of functional pottery and
internationally recognized for his unpretentious wood-fired and
salt-glazed pottery, died April 14, 2002 in Louisville, KY. He was 68.
Raised on a farm in Centerville, Indiana, Temple first
studied pottery at Indiana's Ball State University. After a tour of
duty with the U.S. Army in Germany, Byron returned to pottery at
Haystack in Maine, studying under Kenneth Quick. Quick had worked with
Bernard Leach in England, and Byron was inspired to study under Leach.
He worked as a production potter in St. Ives from 1959 to 1962, and it
was here that Byron really learned to throw. A period of working with
Colin Pearson at the Quay Pottery Aylesford followed.
Byron returned to the United States and set up his own
pottery in Lambertville, New Jersey, where with the help of a team of
potters, he produced a range of reduction-fired standard tableware.
To promote and market the ware, Byron made inventive use of
well-designed catalogues, posters, and postcards. In the late 80's
Byron abandoned large-scale production of tableware in favor of making
more individual pots. Byron moved his studio to Louisville, Kentucky in
In the last decade of Byron's life he continued to teach both
here in the US and abroad. His travels to Japan, New Zealand, Sweden,
Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, and the Netherlands gave him an
opportunity to both teach and learn, to explore new material, and to
develop new techniques.
Byron Temple influenced generations of potters with classes
and workshops at schools ranging from Penland and Haystack to the Pratt
Institute and the Philadelphia College of Art, among others. Byron's
work was spare with simple lines. It was, as Byron temple said, "a
combination of the Bauhaus and Japan." For those who knew Byron Temple
and mark his passing with regret there is left behind a body of work
that speaks volumes about a man and his contribution to the world of