Burkett has made pottery for over 40 years, starting in 1970
with a summer job throwing ashtrays on the potter's wheel for
the late Indiana potter Richard Peeler. Burkett established
his own Wild Rose Pottery in 1973 on a farm near Bainbridge
Indiana, where he made salt glazed pottery for about ten years.
Returning to school in 1983, Richard completed a dual MFA in
ceramics and phototography at Indiana University- Bloomington
in 1986. He has taught ceramics since that time, first at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, and since 1989 at San Diego
State University, where he is currently a Professor of Art.
Richard's work continues to include a range of ceramics objects,
from functional stoneware and porcelain to clay and mixed-media
Richard is the author of the noted glaze calculation software, Hyperglaze (for Macintosh and Windows), the CeramicsWeb website, and co-author, with Glenn Nelson, of Ceramics: A Potter's Handbook (Cengage Learning). Richard recently curated the work of the forty artists included in the new Lark Books publication "Porcelain Masters: major works by leading ceramists."
Working with Nan Coffin and Joe Molinaro (ceramics professor at Eastern Kentucky University), Richard has been traveling to the Amazon Basin of Ecuador for the last fifteen years working to document the indigenous pottery cultures there in photographs and video. Videos from recent trips are in the works. You can see some of Richard's photographs of Ecuadorian pottery here: Ecuadorian Pottery
Richard also plays bluegrass music with his band Gone Tomorrow whenever possible.