Ron Burke (1935-2016 ), a lifetime studio potter initially based out of Rock Tavern New York and later Shapleigh Maine. Ron graduated with a BS in education from SUNY Oswego and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. He met his wife Tess at SUNY Oswego. After graduating Ron worked as an instructor in rural New York state, at the University of Manitoba, as a resident craftsman and instructor at Penland School of crafts in North Carolina, and as an instructor at Haystack in Maine. He was originally inspired to become a potter when working as an art instructor he took a continuing education class in pottery and ended up falling in love with the process of working with clay.

In 1965 Ron and Tess committed to the artist lifestyle and together they purchased a pottery and raised three children while living, working, learning, and growing, all together, the family and the pottery, business and life together in farm country. They purchased the White Cloud Pottery in Orange County, New York, and changed the name to Rock Tavern Pottery. White Cloud was most known for its porcelain tiles and the period icon "Bottoms Up" cups.

Ron worked as an independent studio potter from 1965 to 1997. During that period Ron made by hand and sold approximately 34,000 clay objects, mostly stoneware vessels (bowls, mugs, plates, vases, etc.) but also sculptures, bath and kitchen accessories, clocks, tiles, etc.

In 1973 the state of New York bought their land through eminent domain, and they moved the pottery and their family, now with 3 young children, to a farm in Shapleigh Maine. For the pottery Ron dropped the name of Rock Tavern and went by Ron Burke.

In addition to his studio work, Ron did many stints as visiting professor or instructor at SUNY New Paltz, the University of Southern Maine, the University of New Hampshire, Maine College of Art, Nasson College, and at Haystack. He also ran a program called Clay Futures for advanced student potters at his own studio in Shapleigh.

In 1998 Ron ceased full time operation at the studio and started instructing again at Phillips Exeter Academy until 2005.

Table Top

24" diameter, handmade stoneware tile with Italian glass tile table top - 2011 Maine

6 pieces

23" height, 9" diameter. Coil and slab built stoneware, ash glaze. 2003

Copper red glaze on small bowl. 1998

18" height, 5" diameter. Altered extruded stoneware vase. 2000

Wheel thrown stoneware teacup bowls with wax resist design. 1975

16" diameter, 9" height. Wheel thrown stoneware bowl. 1965

15" height, 8" diameter. Extruded and coil built stoneware vase. 2000