Newspaper article News Sentinel

North Knoxville: Making Pottery, Teaching Help Artist Find His Balance

Newspaper article News Sentinel

North Knoxville: Making Pottery, Teaching Help Artist Find His Balance

Article excerpt

Michael Robison has a passion for pottery.

That makes him a perfect fit as the newest instructor at the Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center, 1127 Broadway.

For Robison, teaching at the center, a service of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, is like coming home. He grew up in North Knoxville and graduated from Central High School.

"That's where I had my first taste of clay," says Robison. "I got to play with clay for a couple of semesters at Central. They shared the pottery equipment back and forth between Gresham and Central, so it just so happens that I had art two years that we got to keep the pottery equipment."

Though Robison enjoyed making pottery, he wasn't solely an art geek. He also played on the soccer team and vividly remembers the rivalries between Central and Beard, Farragut and Catholic.

"We never beat Farragut, but we could beat just about everybody else," says the 1987 CHS graduate. He also remembers playing some out-of-town schools.

"We played Cumberland County and Gatlinburg Pittman. Those schools were always dangerous to go to because they didn't have soccer programs. They had football players trying to play soccer, so we were always getting hurt at those schools. But it was fun."

After high school, Robison started out studying mechanical engineering at Pellissippi State Community College, but before finishing he got married and he and his wife moved to Johnson City. He transferred his credits to East Tennessee State University, and as an elective he chose a pottery class.

"I never left that studio for two years," he says. "I took every pottery class that ETSU had to offer.

"I basically taught myself to throw over a summer because my instructor had told me I couldn't do it. …

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