Burkett has made pottery for over 50 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 since 2019 he is a Professor Emeritus 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 and sole programmer 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 curated the work of the forty artists included in the new Lark Books publication "Porcelain Masters: major works by leading ceramists." Richard designed and co-authored "Mythical Figures and Mucawas: Ceramics from the Ecuadorian Amazon" with Joe Molinaro, published and available from lulu.com
Working with Nan Coffin and Joe Molinaro (ceramics professor at Eastern Kentucky University), Richard has traveled to Ecuador over the last twenty five years working to document the indigenous pottery culturesof the Amazon Basin 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, and also on Joe and Richard's @indigenousclay Instagram feed. Follow us to see where we've been and what we're looking at from past travels and friends.
Richard also plays mandolin and guitar in his bluegrass music band Gone Tomorrow whenever possible.