60520 Manzanita 205
Mountain Center
California 92561, USA
tel: +1 (760) 349 3291
fax: +1 (760) 349 8009



gallery of pots

Veterans' Memorial

Fred Olsen has been a ceramic artist for over 40 years making both thrown functional pottery forms and sculptural ceramics. He has specialised in wood firing, using the natural build up of fly ash falling and melting on the clay and glaze to give rich and vibrant surfaces - flames and ash leaving their distinctive flashes and colors.

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"I approached Fred Olsen in the early 1960's with the idea of going to Japan. He had been experimenting with Japanese-style tenmoku glazes and was already an expert in the art of throwing stoneware and porcelain. In those days it was not so simple to acquire sponsorship to live in Japan but a Japanese English professor managed it through the kyoto City College of Fine Arts. Fred's story of his time in Japan is a book in itself but suffice it to say that the experience changed his life. He learned Japanese, worked with two fanous cobalt calligraphers and ceramic artists in Tomimoto Kenkichi and Kondo Yuzo and was in general a fine help to Tomimoto-sensei as well as being his faithful student."

- Susan Petersen
retired professor, ceramic artist and world famous author.

“For a generation, Olsen has inspired countless aspiring clay artists with his inherent communication skills, easy charm, playfulness, laid-back humour and rigorous self discipline. Fred Olsen is truly a potter of distinction and his life’s journey has been one of adventure and good fortune”.

- Dick Aitken
Canberra based potter and freelance writer.