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This book is published on the occasion of an exhibition by the same name at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell celebrates the five-decade careers of Jim and Nan McKinnell, whose prolific output included tens of thousands of ceramic works. The McKinnells, known for their diverse vessel forms, often collaborated on pieces, with one shaping the work and the other adding decoration; but, when viewing their solo pieces, their individual preferences are unmistakable. Beyond their own predilections and artwork, their innovations in ceramic technology and their commitment to teaching have provided the field of ceramic art with a lasting legacy. To sum up their 50-year career, the work evidences substance, challenge, and exquisite sensitivity. Jim and Nan McKinnell are said to have lived largely. Their active role in changing the identity of American potters and American ceramics in the mid-twentieth century resulted in an important transformation of ceramic history. The story of the McKinnells and their work speaks of growth - artistic, personal, social - inspired by and creating itself of those most human partners, clay and grace. It's well worth telling.
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