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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stan Bitters

Stan Bitters (c. 1936- ) is an American ceramic artist. He received a bachelor's degree in painting from the University of California Los Angeles in 1959.  He also attended San Diego Stage College and the Otis Art Institute.

His career has spanned over six decades. In 1959 he was the artist in residence at the Hans Sumpf Company in Madera, California. At the time, Sumpf was the largest producer of emulsified adobe brick. Bitters had been hired to create artisan objects for the company. He introduced a ceramic birdhouse, which became a huge seller. He added architectural murals, pots, tiles and enormous "thumb pot" planters to the line. Bitters left Sumpf in 1965, but the company continued to sell his designs till they closed in 2006.

In 1965 Bitters began giving private art classes in figure drawing and was a lecturer and workshop instructor. From 1965-1968 he was also a figure drawing instructor for Fresno State University and became a published author. In 1969 he was the design consultant for the City of Fresno Civic Center Mall, and in 1975 he was the designer or art and architecture for the Prather Shopping Center.

Bitters has had numerous exhibitions, and his installations can be seen in residences and businesses throughout North America. His work has been the subject of articles in many publications, including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Arts & Architecture and The New York Times.

You can buy reissues of the terracotta birdhouses by Bitters at Modernica.

From and

Thumb pots

Ceramic lanterns

Terracotta birdhouses

Carved vessels

Large carved pot

Ceramic mural

Freestanding medallion

Totem form

Totem form

Commercial installation - Duncan Ceramics

Fountains at Fulton Mall - Fresno, California

In the studio


  1. If I remember correctly (and I may not) Mr. Bitters was friends with Richard and Marj Peeler...also outstanding potters, who were also instrumental in educating a couple of generations of potters.

    Brilliant work!

  2. Cool Dana!I like those flat tiles a lot... hmmm... Kinda of brutalist? Yes?

    1. Yes, I think so too. Very brutalist indeed. One article I read called him "a modern caveman." I'd love to have one of his totem forms.

  3. Those terracotta bird houses are just so sweet. I would love a tree full of them.

    1. Aren't they great? I plan to get one (or two or three) from Modernica.