Jim Romberg has been working with Raku ceramics for over forty years. Experimenting with many ceramic processes at the beginning of his career in art, Romberg settled with Raku because of its significant history, begun in 15th century Japan, its well developed and documented aesthetics, and its contemporary use as means for artistic expression. He has, in fact, added many dimensions to this continuing art form.
Presenting work that is an interplay of sculpture and painting, Romberg has used the particular characteristics of raku in a unique way, often described as "painting with smoke and fire" to add a dimension of color, depth and surface that is truly engaging on many levels. The practice and discipline of forming clay, applying surface treatments reflecting a virtuosity of brushwork, and individually firing and "smoke treating" each object results in pieces that capture the beauty of nature interacting with the intention of the artist.
Events of landscape and sky remain a constant inspiration along with the human history of creation starting with the pre-historic cave paintings in France which Romberg has personally visited and studied. His study and appreciation of the origins of Raku ceramics centered around the development of the Tea Ceremony and tea vessels brings a particular contemporary interpretation of Eastern aesthetics and philosophy into his work. The result is a particularly vital expression of an ancient art form "brought up-to-date" inviting contemplation that speaks to us today of the excitement of the creative imagination .