Jim Larkin

Jim Larkin

2012 Award Recipient | POTTERY, Hot Springs

Jim Larkin of Hot Springs was named the 2012 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work as a potter.

Born and raised in Lonoke, Larkin and his wife, Barbara, also a potter and a painter, have owned and operated Fox Pass Pottery in Hot Springs for more than 40 years. He describes his style as traditional and said he enjoys making functional pieces the most.

Larkin and Barbara work in their shop and studio five days a week and enjoy one-on-one visits with customers. They often stop their work to give tours of the glaze and kiln area and provide wheel demonstrations.

Though Larkin earned a degree in chemistry and biology from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, his interest in pottery ignited while attending an art show at Henderson State University.

After college, Larkin taught high school chemistry, math and physics, but his mind was still on pottery. He spent every spare minute he had learning about the craft, reading book after book and talking to every potter he could find. Soon, Barbara became interested in pottery as well, and they began attending as many workshops and ceramics conferences as they could. After immersing themselves in the craft, they decided they loved it enough to make a living out of it.

Larkin's passion for pottery is reflected in his extensive community involvement and years of teaching the craft to others. For six years, Larkin participated in the Arkansas Arts Council's Arts in Education program, teaching art to students in Jessieville. For more than 20 years, he taught ceramics classes at the National Park Community College in Hot Springs, where he built a gas-fired kiln for the program.

He also designed and taught a course called "The Science of Pottery" for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and Arts in Hot Springs. In addition, he has given numerous workshops throughout the state, including the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.

Larkin makes his work on the potter's wheel while Barbara builds her creations by hand. He and Barbara mix their own clay from several different clays and minerals and they also mix their own glazes. In addition, he makes many of his tools and has built several wood-fired and gas-fired kilns for himself, as well as for schools and other potters. 

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