A native of Southern California, Josh Beckman began his ceramic studio in earnest more than seven years ago stemming from a life-long practice of making things. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in painting and sculpture he worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for more than a decade as an Exhibit Designer. Venturing onward he has recently cofounded the environmental design firm Regner Godoy Projects with the intent of rich cross-pollination between his design and art making practices ongoing at FBP Works.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
Studied painting in school. Took a shine to tools and physical form and moved into sculpture after graduating. Made a series of full body robot costumes. Learned how to make molds, work with wood, metal, plastics and resins as a result. Stemming from explorations in materials and processes started working as a fabricator. That organically led to working as an exhibit designer. Ended up learning 2D and 3D software and exerting my hands less and less. Craved to return to a tactile practice. Explored clay as a new medium and that was it. Loved it as sculpture, as painting, raw, fully analogue, intimate and expansive. The accumulation of skills is routinely drawn upon for inspiration and execution in my ceramic work.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
Definitely. Born and raised in Southern California, camping and hiking in the Sierras, Joshua Tree and Big Sur have permeated my understanding and exploration of texture, form and color. Ceramics proved to be the most compelling and satisfying medium transferring these experiences.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Good music, cordless impact driver, reference library.