J.B. Blunk (1926-2002) has had solo exhibitions at the Oakland Museum, Blum & Poe Tokyo, Blum & Poe Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, Kate MacGarry in London, and Oklahoma State University. He’s been included in many seminal group exhibitions, including Objects USA curated by Lee Nordness in 1970 and California Design 1976 curated by Eudorah Moore. Blunk was a sculptor, ceramicist and painter who was unconcerned with the distinction between fine art and craft. He was born in Kansas and moved to California to study at UCLA. After fighting in the Korean War, he was discharged in Japan, where he met Isamu Noguchi, who introduced him to master potter and “National Treasure” Rosanjin Kitoaji, who subsequently took Blunk on as an apprentice. Blunk’s exposure to Bizen pottery and the traditional ceramic techniques of Japan influenced his artistic methods for the rest of his career. He had his first solo exhibition at Chou-Koron Gallery in Tokyo in 1954, which was curated by Isamu Noguchi. When he moved back to California in 1954, Blunk began to make monumental sculptures from salvaged redwood, and came to be known for these large pieces, especially for a work called “The Planet,” a two-ton redwood seating sculpture commissioned by the Oakland Museum in 1969, which continues to be on permanent display there. He also began to build what is possibly his most significant artwork, his home, now known as the Blunk House, which he made entirely out of salvaged materials. Blunk crafted every item in the building—every plate, every piece of furniture, the sinks, the tableware—by hand. Blunk’s works are included in the public collections of the SFMOMA, the Oakland Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New York’s Museum of Art and Design and the Smithsonian, among many other institutions.