Byron Temple (1933-2002), born in Centerville, IN, was a ceramicist who created simple forms resembling Bauhaus and Asian style ceramics. Using the potter’s wheel, Temple would throw pots and other functional pieces and salt or wood fire them, creating reduction-fired works.
Early in his career, Temple would create an array of simple pottery ware that would fit his standards and were aesthetically pleasing. When glazing, he would purposely leave large sections of the pottery bare to display his process in making and would rarely experiment with glazing, besides overlapping. As he progressed in his career, Temple began to experiment by creating unique pieces made of porcelain and stoneware, and incorporated salt firings into his practice.
Temple studied ceramics at Ball State University (1951-1952), where he learned to throw, and furthered his education at the Brooklyn Museum Art School (1952-1955) in New York. During his first summer there, he went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and met Jack Lenor Larsen and learned the business side of craft. By 1955, Temple was drafted into the army and stationed in Germany, but he continued throwing in the base’s craft shop using a wooden kick wheel and clay.
By 1957, Temple was discharged and he returned to the United States to attend the Art Institute of Chicago where he worked as a technician in their ceramic department. Wanting more experience, Temple reached out to British potter, Bernard Leach for an apprenticeship, to which Leach agreed. Temple apprenticed under Leach in St. Ives, UK, from 1959 to 1961, where he learned to develop his own style and create functional yet innovative pots. Once his apprenticeship ended, Temple moved to London where he discovered some pots made by Colin Pearson. Interested in the craftsmanship, Temple went to visit Pearson and eventually took on another apprenticeship under him.
Temple later returned to the United States, moving around the Midwest until settling in his pottery studio in Lambertville, NJ, where he continued his line of tableware pottery. He later began teaching at several institutions including the Philadelphia College of Art, Pratt Institute, and Swarthmore, and also travelled to teach workshops and share his perspective on art in Japan, New Zealand, England, and Spain.