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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