Derek Au began his professional journey of life in the sciences, physics specifically, with forays into the Internet and as an environmental activist. All along he nurtured his ceramics practice. In 2007, he completed service on the Greenpeace ship “Rainbow Warrior” in China and began working in Jingdezhen, where he maintained a studio practice until he arrived in Minneapolis to be our 2018 Winter McKnight Artist Resident. Au is the creator of Glazy, an open-source ceramics database with over 6000 users, containing more than 15,000 glaze and clay recipes. In 2017 he began 72 Hands, a collection of videos documenting ceramics techniques. After his McKnight residency, he was accepted as a special student at Alfred University, and in the fall of 2019, he will begin a long-term residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana.
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