Austin Lindsey grew up a swimming jock in Central Florida, but was surrounded by a family of artists in his neighborhood. One of those artists was a nationally recognized potter, Stephen Jepson. Austin and Stephen began a life long friendship and led him to his first ceramics class in 1992 when Austin was 19 yrs old. Austin went on to an apprenticeship with Peter Callas in New Jersey, where he learned to fire anagama wood kilns. During this apprenticeship, he also had the privilege of assisting ceramicist, Peter Voulkos. After his study in New Jersey, he returned home to Florida to build a gas kiln and a wood kiln in his own studio. It was during this time that he devoted his efforts full-time to teaching and to pottery making.
Austin recalls, “I was not a good business person and I was failing at many things personally.” So, in 2005 he sold the studio and property, and he went back to complete his BFA at the University of Central Florida in 2006. “I was working in figurative sculpture at the time and was rejected from all the graduate schools I had applied to. At that point a teaching opportunity opened for me in the British Virgin Islands.:” Austin taught high school art on the island of Tortola for 5 years before returning to the United States in 2014. At that time he met and married his wife, and has since built his new studio in Newnan, Georgia to focus on his pottery career again in 2016 after a ten year break.
When talking about his artistic focus, Austin says, “While I have made all kinds of objects from clay, using every basic process, I have come to realize that I love making functional pottery. I feel good knowing that my work will be used in the daily rituals of eating, drinking and cooking. I believe that man needs beauty in the same way that we need food and water. It is a sustenance and it inspires the soul to hope and dream. I am often influenced by the historical works of Asia and the Middle East, because of the mastery of various processes and techniques.”