Brian J. Horsch, a native of Kansas, is a potter and an artist focusing on wood-fired ceramic sculpture.
He started sculpting from wood early on in his life, using various scrap and hardwoods and a pocket knife. He tends to focus on animal forms both real and unreal. He has a special affinity for the indigenous species of North America, especially if they have horns, antlers, or tusks.
In 2008, he began creating hand built and thrown sculpture from clay. Within 2 years of switching to clay as his medium, he started exploring the use of wood-fired kilns to finish his work and fell in love with the surfaces that he could achieve using wood kilns.
Using either porcelain or stoneware, he wheel throws and hand builds the parts needed for each sculpture. He then meticulously sculpts each finished piece from these component parts.
The natural glaze and flame marks observed on each of his pieces is the result of the work being fired in a wood-fueled kiln.
As wood logs are burned, the kiln temperature begins to rise and the atmosphere fills with floating ash. This fine fly ash gradually builds up on all of the exposed surfaces of the work inside. Once the temperature inside the kiln exceeds 2000 degrees Fahrenheit from continuously adding more and more wood, the wood ash begins to melt, run, and ultimately glaze each piece of sculpture. This random layering of wood ash glaze onto the surface results in one of a kind sculptures with beautiful colors and patinas.