Ben Richardson was born in Lutruwita/Tasmania where he completed his Bachelor of Economics degree at the University of Tasmania in 1972. Soon after, he found himself working with resin and fibreglass on the long curves of surfboards before a developing interest in making with clay led him to undertake studies in ceramics at the School of Art in Hobart which he completed in 1981.That same year, Ben established Ridgeline Pottery, focusing on woodfiring and the use of indigenous raw materials in a place-based approach to craft making. He returned to formal study and completed a Master of Art, Design and Environment at the Tasmanian School of Art (UTAS) in 2004.
Ben’s practice is a response to place – a connection through all aspects of making to the relationship between who he is and where he lives. This involves gathering clay, stone, wood ash and ochre; an alchemic mix then fired to high temperatures in woodfired kilns. He seeks to make utensils that, not only have a strong presence at rest, but explore an enhanced potency in daily or special use. While these interests continue, he also creates contemporary tableware – working with culinary experts who seek to express an integrated plate-based response to place and season.
Alongside his professional practice, Ben has acted as teacher, facilitator and coordinator with education providers such as TAFE and the Tasmanian School of Art, both in Hobart.