A full time potter for 30 years, Randy O’Brien began working with clay while he was a student at the University of California at Berkeley. He moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1984 to study with ceramic artist and educator Al Johnsen. Randy’s love for the wilderness and adventure led him to move to Alaska in the late 1980’s. He established a pottery studio in Homer creating and selling functional, stoneware pottery with glazes inspired by the glacial fields and mountains of Kachemak bay. He returned to art school in the mid 90’s earning a BFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. While a student at Alfred, he focused on the development of special effect, low fire glazes. He perfected his current body of work in the year 2000. Inspired by the mineral formations, mudflats and lichens of southern Arizona he developed a three dimensional glaze surface that mimics the aesthetic of a naturally occurring material.
The distinctive quality and individuality of his ceramic art have generated a sizeable following, a show in Hong Kong, inclusion in numerous exhibitions at Baltimore Clayworks as well as several solo exhibitions across the country. His work has been featured in Southwest Art magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Phoenix Home and Garden, ArtBook of the New West, and Sedona Monthly, Lark Books' "500 Tiles", “Surface Design for Ceramics”, and “Experience Clay”, as well as his pieces made special appearances on the sets of Dr. 90210, The Class, The Mentalist, Better Off Ted, and The Apprentice. He has exhibited at the Scottsdale Arts Festival, La Quinta Arts Festival and Cherry Creek Arts Festival, won the “Excellence in Clay” award at the 2nd Biennial International Ashes To Art, “Best in Clay” award at the 2012 Sedona Arts Festival, “Juror’s Choice” award at the 2013 Crested Butte Arts Festival and “Best Ceramics” award at the 2013 Golden Arts Festival.