Creative Spirits

Ki Woon Huh Is a Nature-Inspired Master Potter

“Florida is good for my art,” says Huh. “I find nature and make it into my style. Sometimes humorous. Always beautiful.”

By Dan Harris October 31, 2020 Published in the November-December 2020 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Ki Woon Huh in his studio

Ki Woon Huh in his studio

Image: Jenny Acheson

In a modest DeSoto Acres home with a carved Korean entryway are galleries of unusual ceramics crafted by master potter Ki Woon Huh. Huh emigrated to Sarasota in 2000 from Korea, a country with a 600-year history of world-class pottery. He learned his art there, winning national awards and earning the title National Treasure. Why did he leave behind success and a centuries-old pottery tradition?

“Freedom,” he says. “Freedom to make my art.”

Adopting nature as his muse, Huh begins each project with drawings. He then summons his biomorphic shapes from a mere mound of clay. Each piece is a wonder of detail: an outsized grasshopper mounted on a porcelain motorcycle wheel; a fish struggling to escape an octopus; clouds of butterflies emerging from a replica of a woman’s handbag. A teapot’s mythical bird spout faces a bowl topped with a graceful fan coral. Fluted vessels—some small as thimbles, others large as planters—are delicately rendered. These objets d’art take visitors to a new sensory dimension, one that’s a strong antidote for pandemic blues.

“Florida is good for my art,” says Huh. “I find nature and make it into my style. Sometimes humorous. Always beautiful.”  

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