Brett Binford, Partner & Co-Founder of Eutectic GalleryBrett Binford, Partner & Co-Founder, Eutectic Gallery

Upon the year 1980 Bretton Sage Binford was born in Cape Cod Mass. to two bohemian hippies.

At the very early age of seven years old Brett was introduced to clay when his Father and Grandfather built a kick wheel in his parents basement. When his parents divorced the wheel stayed and he played. His youth was tumultuous time, losing several good friends to drugs and alcohol, but found much solace in the wheel that provided the refuge during the fracture of his parents relationship. Brett endured and decided to pick up where his lost friends could not, by earning a full ride scholarship to the prestigious Alfred University.

During his time at Alfred, Brett was introduced to conceptual art, but felt that he wasn’t receiving the tools necessary to succeed as a living artist. This unease coupled with his frustrations of critique, which place emphasis on the marketability of his work, provided the fuel to prove otherwise. By the spring of that school year Brett had applied and was accepted to several nationally recognized craft shows. Brett, his girlfriend, and 900 ceramic pieces set out in a used UPS van to sell their wares across the nation.

After two years at Alfred University Brett decided to take a leave of absence from his education and intern as a teacher at a kindergarten in Aspen, Colorado. It was here where he found some enlightenment through witnessing his pupils pure creativity, but also daunted by the fact that the world had already imprinted some restraint in his young students, limiting their free creative process.

Aspen though was only the first stop, Brett soon found himself in Steamboat, Colorado where he worked under the mentorship of Jonathan Kaplan.

Jonathan provided Brett with everything Alfred could not. At this studio he was given hands on experience of continually solving clay problems – from chemistry to process improvement, a learning experience which was priceless. Also during this time a great friendship developed with his co-worker Chris Lyon. Both dreamed of one day owning their own production studio, but weary from the volume of work both were producing in colorado they soon sought rest in Bozeman, Montana.

In Bozeman, in an effort to reconnect with creativity, Brett spent much of his time there, “just playing with clay” never bringing any piece to full completion, it was also a time he felt lonely artistically and craved creative feedback and critique from other peers. He then decided to apply to the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. He was quickly accepted and moved to Oregon.

At OCAC he made a personal transformation. He had always made work that he wanted to be “pretty”, doing so, to hide from his own personal pain of guilt and regret dating back to his childhood. He began to explore a more honest approach to creating, showing all emotional sides of himself not just the happy parts.

While at OCAC Brett met deeply spiritual man named Thomas Orr. Thomas instilled many truths in Brett one of which was he didn’t have to go to school to be an artist, and after one year Brett decided to leave OCAC. Brett meanwhile had been speaking more to Chris Lyon about their shared dream. Both endeavored to make it a reality and soon Chris moved to Portland to join his good friend to found Mudshark Studios in 2006.

Mudshark Studios has expanded several times since then and Brett finds that having a balance of his duties at Mudshark facilitates both an outlet to grow emotionally but also financially. Without a financial restraint he is now able to humbly pursue his artistic goals sans the hindrance of money entering into his creative process. He looks forward to many years of continuing this exploration.

Brett Binford:
Mudshark Studios: 

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