James Loso, St. Joseph, MN potter, was well known in the Upper Midwest for his diversity in his approach to clay. Embellished, decorated surfaces and sculpted forms had become a trademark of the Loso style. Loso’s materials included the use of three clay bodies over his 50-year career as a potter: stoneware, raku and porcelain. His sophisticated firing techniques and decorated surfaces, sometimes using sterling silver, gemstone settings, and metallic glazes, set him apart from other potters. Loso’s use of gold leaf and experimentation with copper and gold mica surfaces added uniqueness to his ceramic forms. Loso’s style reflected a strong influence from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods of art history.
Jim Loso graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Studio Arts, and he studied further with well-known ceramicists such as Gail Christensen, Marguerite Wildenhane and Katherine Hierseux. He furthered his study in pottery at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN. Until his recent retirement from teaching, he worked as an art instructor for 35 years in the Elk River, MN school system, teaching pottery, design, and jewelry classes. In addition, he was an instructor for the Elk River Arts Magnet program, which is closely tied to the MN Perpich Center for the Arts in Golden Valley, MN. In recent years, Loso taught numerous raku workshops for art centers and private galleries, emphasizing his unique glazing and firing techniques.